Porcini and Parma Ham Lasagne

This has to be one of the most delicious pasta dishes, made using four classic Italian ingredients: Pasta, Parma Ham, Porcini and Parmesan Reggiano – a very alliterative combination! You can eat this either as a starter or as a main course. It is very rich, so if you use it as a starter, you only need a smallish ramekin per person.

Serves 4 main course / 8 starter

Ingredients

  • 8 sheets of Lasagne Pasta
  • 60 grams plain flour
  • 150 grams butter
  • 1 litre milk
  • 450 grams fresh porcini (or 1 tin from Trencherman’s!)
  • 150 grams freshly grated Parmesan
  • 200 grams Parma Ham, sliced into juliennes
  • a good handful of freshly chopped parsley
  • Truffle oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan.
  2. Add the flour and blend, stirring all the time.
  3. Cook for a couple of minutes to cook the flour, still stirring.
  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. Bring the milk to near boiling.
  6. Place the butter and flour mixture back on a very gentle heat and add the milk a little at a time stirring constantly with a whisk. This will only take a couple of minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
  8. If you are using fresh Porcini (Cêpes), slice them into chunks and fry gently in olive oil. If you are using tinned Porcini, drain them and add to the béchamel.
  9. Cut the Parma Ham into juliennes and add them too. Sprinkle in the chopped Parsley and season with salt and pepper. Don’t add too much salt as the Parma Ham and the Parmesan both have a certain amount of salt in them.
  10. Bring the mixture to the boil and remove from the heat.
  11. Butter your dish or dishes, depending on whether you are using 8 ramekins or one dish.
  12. Place a layer of pasta on the bottom, cover with the mixture and generously sprinkle with Parmesan. Repeat this until your dish is full.
  13. Place a knob of butter on top of a ramekin dish or several knobs on top of a single dish. Pre-heat your oven to 425 F/220C/Gas 7 and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbling and golden. Just before bringing it to the table, drizzle a little Truffle oil over the top for an extra subtle and delicious flavour.

Parmesan Nibbles

This is really simple, quick and scrumptious!

Serves as many as you can share about 24 with.

Ingredients

  • 125 grams grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / Gas 4
  2. To make a couple of dozen, take the grated Parmesan and mix with a pinch of Cayenne pepper.
  3. Brush a non-stick baking tray (or you can use kitchen foil) with olive oil.
  4. Make 24 little mounds of the mixture, not too close to each other or they’ll all become one.
  5. Cook in oven for 7 or 8 minutes until golden brown.
  6. The little heaps will have turned into little biscuits. Remove them from the tray immediately, using a pallet knife, and place on a cake rack to cool.
  7. For a pretty curled effect, place over a rolling pin or some other such shaped object.

Omelette Arnold Bennett

More of a smoked haddock soufflé really. The quantities will serve 4 people as a main course, but if you want to do it as a starter, you can put the mixture into ramekin dishes and cook in the oven instead. This will be enough for 6 to 8 ramekins, depending on the size of your dishes.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 fillet Natural Smoked Haddock, weighing about 6oz to 8oz
  • ½ pint milk
  • 1oz butter
  • ½oz plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons single cream, coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan

Method

  1. Pour the milk into a saucepan with a slice of onion, a bayleaf, a couple of slice of carrot and 3 or 4 whole peppercorns.
  2. Bring almost to the boil. Place the Smoked Haddock in a flat dish and pour the milk over it.
  3. Leave to stand for ten minutes by which time your fish will be cooked.
  4. Remove from the milk, skin and flake the fish carefully checking for bones.
  5. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid. Melt half the butter in a small non-stick saucepan, add the flour and stir over the heat for one minute or so.
  6. Next add half the milk in which you poached the fish, and cook gently for a minute or two, until the sauce thickens.
  7. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with 2 tablespoons of the cream.
  8. Season with pepper only (salt is unnecessary due to the saltiness of the fish). Stir this into the white sauce.
  9. Add the Smoked Haddock and half the Parmesan.
  10. Whisk the egg whites to medium peaks and fold very gently into the sauce.
  11. In a non-stick oven proof frying pan, melt the remaining butter, coating the whole pan with melted butter.
  12. When nice and hot, pour in your mixture and cook until it starts to set.
  13. At this stage, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top and pour over the remaining cream.
  14. Place under a pre-heated hot grill until golden and delicious.
  15. Serve with lots of crusty bread for mopping up every last bit!

Oeufs Mimosa

This is a stunningly simple recipe, either for a light meal or as a starter. We include two variations.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 free range eggs, hard-boiled
  • 125g white crab meat (or tinned tuna)
  • homemade or good quality mayonnaise
  • fresh parsley to garnish

Method

  1. Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthways.
  2. Take out the yolk, place it in a small dish and break up with a fork.
  3. Mix the crab meat (or tuna) with a small amount of mayonnaise seasoned with sea-salt and black pepper.
  4. Spoon generously into the egg whites.
  5. Sprinkle the yolk over the top and garnish with chopped parsley.

 

We’ve just tried a new variation of this using Smoked Haddock in a creamy béchamel.

  1. All you need to do is to poach the haddock in milk and then flake it.
  2. Make a white sauce using the haddock milk
  3. Fill your eggs with the mixture.

It is also very good!

Moelleux au chocolat noir, Coeur de chocolat blanc

This must rate as one of the sins – gluttony! But if you’re a chocoholic, you shouldn’t resist. And it’s quick and easy to make. If you don’t fancy the white chocolate inside, just add a few extra dark chocolate buttons. A splash of Don PX dessert wine (a very sweet and rich sherry) would be a delicious indulgence to accompany this dessert.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 200g dark chocolate pistoles (64% + cocoa solids)
  • 50g white chocolate pistoles
  • 100g butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 soup-spoons flour
  • 5 large eggs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 °C (gas mark 8).
  2. Melt the dark chocolate and the butter in a bain marie or in a basin over a pan of boiling water.
  3. Meanwhile take 8 ramekins, butter them and dust lightly with flour.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate & butter into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and eggs and mix thoroughly.
  5. Stir in the flour.
  6. Place the ramekins on an oven tray and fill them one third full with the mixture.
  7. Then sprinkle 8 or 10 white chocolate buttons on each and then fill to ¾ of the depth of the dish. Don’t overfill or the mixture will overflow.
  8. Place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. They are cooked when they have risen nicely, with a slightly cracked appearance on top and nice and gooey in the middle!

Marquise au Chocolat

This light, moist chocolate dessert, which is in fact a glorified chocolate mousse, is easy to prepare and requires no baking.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (225g) plain unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons strong black coffee
  • 6oz (175g) butter
  • 3 eggs (separated)
  • 4oz (100g) icing sugar
  • grated rind of one orange

Method

  1. Line a 1lb loaf tin with cling film.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces, place it in the top of a double boiler with the coffee and melt gently, stirring occasionally, taking care that the level of the simmering water is below that of the bottom of the top pan.
  3. Once melted, remove from the heat, add the butter cut into pieces, the egg yolks, icing sugar and orange zest.
  4. Return this to the heat until the butter has melted.
  5. Leave to cool.
  6. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  7. Gently fold half of them into the mixture, then fold in the remainder until the mixture is smooth.
  8. Pour into the loaf tin and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  9. Half an hour before serving, remove from the fridge.
  10. Dip the tin in a bowl of hot water for a second or two, cover the top with a flat plate and turn over so that the mousse ends up on the plate.
  11. Slice into ½” slices with a warm knife and serve garnished with a few cherries in kirsch and a little of the kirsch poured around the slice of Marquise.

Roast Goose

Since Christmas comes but once a year we like to remind you of one way to cook a goose.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 220°C (425°F)
  • Rub salt and pepper over the skin.
  • Prick the goose all over with a fork and cut the thighs so that you can pull them slightly away from the body. This ensures they cook through and allows the fat to drain freely.
  • If you’re going to stuff it, fill the goose with the stuffing of your choice and close the cavity using a trussing needle.
  • Secure the neck flap and truss the bird.
  • Place the bird, breast side up, on a large free-draining rack in a roasting tin in the centre of the oven.
  • Roast for 20 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 160-180°C (350-375°F),
  • Cover the goose with foil, then cook for a further 3½ to 4 hours for a medium-sized goose, occasionally draining off the fat, which you should (of course!) save for your roast potatoes.
  • Test by piercing a thigh with a skewer – the juice should run clear.
  • When cooked, remove the goose from the oven, untie it and place it on a hot serving platter to rest while you make the gravy.

Pan-fried Foie Gras

Foie Gras pan-fried with Caramelised Orange and Grande Dauphine or Cointreau on Toasted Brioche

Serves 4

We sell frozen ready sliced raw foie gras, ideal for frying.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices raw foie gras
  • 1 dessert spoon plain flour
  • flesh of one ripe, sweet orange
  • 6 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 4 slices brioche

Method

  1. Skin and segment the oranges removing all pith.
  2. Take a heavy frying pan and put a tiny amount of oil in it and wipe all over.
  3. Heat the pan until it is hot but not smoking. (If it is too hot the foie gras will disappear!)
  4. Place the still frozen foie gras in the pan and cook for 2 or 3 minutes on the first side and for a further minute or so on the reverse side.
  5. It should be nice and browned but quite rare in the middle.
  6. Then put the whole pan in the oven on 150C for a further 3 minutes to ensure the foie gras is cooked all the way through.
  7. It should be pink and moist on the inside but golden brown on the outside.
  8. Turn the oven off. Remove the foie gras to a hot plate and put it back into the oven.
  9. Drain off any excess fat from the pan and it back on the heat and deglaze the pan with the orange liqueur.
  10. Add the orange segments and just warm.
  11. Toast the brioche and on a plate place two slices of the foie gras on top of each piece of toast.
  12. Sprinkle with a good pinch of fleur de sel or Maldon salt and some black pepper and serve with the orange segments and orange liqueur on top.

Marinated Rabbit Stew with Celeriac purée

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 joined rabbits
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 4 sticks celery diced
  • 50g dried wild mushrooms
  • 100g sultanas
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped parsley
  • 50g toasted pine kernels
For the marinade
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
For the celeriac purée
  • 2 Celeriac
  • 1 litre milk
  • 100g butter
  • black pepper

Method

  1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the rabbit and cover with cling film and leave to marinate for at least 12 hours.
  3. Remove the rabbit joints from the marinade and pat dry. Retain the marinade.
  4. Soak the dried mushrooms in some warm water for about 20 minutes.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a heavy lidded pan or casserole.
  6. Brown the rabbit joints and set to one side.
  7. Fry the shallots, carrots and celery in butter until opaque.
  8. Add the marinade and simmer gently until the sauce has reduced by at least a quarter, if not more.
  9. Now add the dried mushrooms along with the water in which they have been soaking.
  10. Cover and simmer very slowly for a very good hour.
  11. Add the sultanas 15 minutes before you serve.
Celeriac purée
  1. Peel and dice the celeriac.
  2. Place in a saucepan with the milk and some salt & pepper.
  3. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft enough to mash.
  4. Remove celeriac and mash with the butter.
Finally

Chop the parsley and stir into the stew at the last minute. Serve with the celeriac and scatter toasted pine kernels on top of the mash just before serving.

Pot-roasted Pheasant with Chestnuts

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 16 pheasant thighs or 2 whole pheasants
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 250g chopped bacon
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 bouquet garni with plenty of thyme in it
  • thinly pared zest of an orange
  • ½ a bottle of dry white wine
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • 200g peeled, cooked chestnuts.

Method

  1. Pour a little olive oil into a heavy casserole and brown the pheasant for a few minutes, turning once or twice.
  2. Remove and gently fry all the vegetables until soft.
  3. Dust with about a dessertspoon of plain flour and fry for a minute or so stirring once.
  4. Add the wine and the chicken stock.
  5. Return the pheasant to the pan.
  6. Add the orange juice and zest and the bouquet garni; season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover and simmer in the oven on about 160C for 1½ hours until tender.
  8. Remove the pheasant from the sauce.
  9. Add the chestnuts at the end, giving them enough time to warm through.
  10. Serve with seasonal vegetables.