Simple to prepare, this tasty pasta dish gets cooked in one pan in just under 30 minutes. Lamb is cooked in a red wine, tomato and thyme sauce with farfalle (bow-tie pasta). Great served with a leafy salad, and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
This is a really light trifle. Not what you normally think of as a trifle although it uses the same ingredients. It’s very refreshing for a summer dessert and looks good too.
This very light summer trifle has a selection of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, tossed in a fruit purée and surrounded with little boozy sponge fingers coated in a vanilla custard.
Pour the milk in a small pan and add the vanilla pod or vanilla extract. Slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling.
Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar to make a paste.
Slowly stir the milk and vanilla into the egg and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Return the custard to the pan and stir, over a low heat, until it begins to thicken. Do not let it boil. You want it to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool.
Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in half and lay in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.
Now wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks, hull and halve the strawberries. Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best. Put the remainder in a food processor or blender and add the wine and sugar. Purée until smooth and then, using the back of a spoon, push through a plastic sieve to remove the pulp. Once the purée is pressed through, wipe the underside of the sieve with the spoon to get all the remaining sauce.
Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold in the cooled custard.
Now to arrange the plates. Carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each plate.
Divide the sponge fingers between the plates arranging them around the edge.
Pour the custard over half of each the sponge finger then sprinkle the nuts on top.
Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.
This chicken dish just takes 20 minutes to cook – one to choose when time is short. The chicken breasts, chunky potatoes and garlic are sautéed in olive oil and butter until crisp and then covered in a white wine sauce.
You will also need 2 large frying pans/skillets and a medium-sized serving dish.
Warm the serving dish in the oven.
Peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and simmer the potatoes until just tender, about 15 minutes.
Now divide the butter and oil between the two pans/skillets.
Next season the chicken breasts. Heat the oil and butter in one of the pans and, when the butter is foaming, add the chicken breasts and brown for 5 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. Reduce the heat and continue to cook the chicken for about 15 minutes until it is cooked through, turning once.
Meanwhile, drain the potatoes when they are just tender and leave for a couple of minutes to dry out. Heat the oil and butter in the other pan and, once the butter is foaming, add the potatoes with the garlic. Turn to coat and continue to cook over a medium heat until the potatoes are golden and crisp, turning occasionally.
When the chicken is ready, transfer it to the warm serving dish and keep warm in the oven. Add the potatoes and garlic once they are ready.
Pour the chicken stock and wine into the pan the chicken was cooked in and let it bubble over a high heat until reduced by half. Stir occasionally and scrape all the crispy bits from the bottom of the pan.
Pour over the chicken, potatoes, and garlic and serve immediately garnished with the parsley.
115g (4 oz) smoked streaky bacon/smoked side bacon, cut into strips (4 rashers)
12 shallots, peeled and trimmed
1 tbsp flour
475ml (16 fl oz) good chicken stock (2 cups)
150ml (5 fl oz) white wine (⅔ cup)
3 tarragon sprigs, leaves finely chopped and stalks reserved
3 tbsp crème fraîche
salt and ground black pepper
serve with baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet. Add the chicken and sauté over a medium heat until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Now add the bacon to the pan and fry for about 3 minutes to release the fat. Then reduce the heat and add the shallots. Continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until both are golden in colour.
Next, sprinkle over the flour and stir to absorb the fat and juices. Cook for 1 minute and then gradually stir in the stock, wine and tarragon stalks.
Return the chicken to the pan, cover and simmer over a gentle heat for 45 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken, bacon and shallots to a plate and keep warm. Strain the sauce and discard the tarragon stalks. Then return the sauce to the pan/skillet and reduce by half. Now stir in the crème fraîche and chopped tarragon leaves. Season to taste.
Return the chicken, bacon and shallots to the pan and stir to coat.
new or baby potatoes and a green salad, green beans, or spinach
large frying pan/skillet
Warm a plate in the oven.
Then, place the frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and pour in the olive oil. When it is hot, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the pork to the pan. Brown the pork on both sides, about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to the warmed plate and and return it to the oven.
Toss the mushrooms in the pan to coat and cook until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and add to the pork.
Blend the flour into the pan juices. Gradually stir in the wine until the sauce is smooth and then add the thyme leaves. Increase the heat and let it bubble until reduced by about two-thirds.
Turn the heat down to low and stir in the crème fraîche and mustard to warm through. Do not let the mixture boil as it will make the mustard taste bitter. Season.
Return the pork, mushrooms and any juices, to the pan and stir the sauce. Heat everything through very gently and then serve garnished with snipped chives, if liked.
115g (4 oz) mozzarella cheese, cut into four thick slices
2 tsp dried oregano
Pasta (fettuccini works well)
Cut the pork into four and then flatten a little by placing each piece between cling film/plastic wrap and bashing with a rolling pin.
Place the fillets side by side in a shallow dish. Season and add the sprigs of oregano and crushed garlic. Then pour over the wine, cover the dish and marinade for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.
Meanwhile, spread the flour over a plate. Remove the fillets from the marinade and pat dry, then coat both sides in the flour. Reserve the marinade.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the butter over a moderate heat in a large frying pan/skillet. The butter will begin to foam and when this almost stops add the pork fillets. Sear on both sides for 2–3 minutes.
Strain the reserved marinade and add to the pan/skillet. Let it bubble for 30 seconds, then add the stock, and season. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to a low setting, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the passata into a small pan over a moderate heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season, and let it bubble, uncovered, to reduce to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes.
Now bring a kettle of water to the boil for the pasta and cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.
Next, put the peppers in a bowl, pour over 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Tip into a large pan and sauté until soft.
Once the pork is cooked through, transfer the fillets to an ovenproof dish that is large enough to hold them in a single layer.
Add 1 tablespoon water to the frying pan/skillet, stir and then reduce the liquid to 3–4 tablespoons. Spoon over the pork.
Cover each fillet with a slice of mozzarella and then add a large spoonful of the passata sauce in the middle of the slice. (Keep any remaining sauce warm.) Sprinkle over the oregano.
Pop in the oven until the cheese just starts to melt, about 5 minutes.
Spoon any remaining passata on four dinner plates and then top with the pasta. Add the pork fillets and spoon over the sauce from the ovenproof dish. Serve with the peppers.
Chicken breasts are marinaded in a garlic, orange and wine sauce with wholegrain mustard and Tabasco to give it a kick. The marinading is well worthwhile as is produces succulent chicken breasts with lots of flavour.