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.
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 stir 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 briefly.
Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in two and lay them in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then stir in the cooled custard.
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 teaspoon of sugar and wine. 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.
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.
Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.
Pour the custard over the sponge fingers then sprinkle the nuts on top.
Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.
115g (4 oz) mozzarella cheese, cut into four thick slices
2 tsp dried oregano
½ red pepper, sliced thinly
½ yellow pepper, sliced thinly
½ orange pepper, sliced thinly
Pasta (fettuccini works well)
Cut the pork into four and then flatten a little by placing each piece between cling film/wrap and bashing with a rolling pin. Place the fillets side by side in a dish, season and add the sprigs of oregano and crushed garlic. Pour over the wine, cover and marinade for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.
Spread the flour on a plate. Remove the fillets from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Dry them on kitchen paper and then coat both sides in the flour.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the butter in a large frying pan/skillet over a moderate heat. The butter will begin to foam and when this almost stops, add the pork fillets and sear on both sides, about 2–4 minutes. Strain the reserved marinade and add to the pan/skillet let it bubble for 30 seconds, then add the stock and season. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a low setting, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Bring a kettle of water to the boil for the pasta and cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.
Meanwhile, pour the passata into a saucepan over a moderate heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, season and let bubble, uncovered, to reduce to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes.
Next mix the peppers in a bowl, pour over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir to coat. Tip into a large pan and sauté until soft.
Once the pork is cooked through, remove to an ovenproof dish. Add 1 tablespoon water to the frying pan, 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. Sprinkle over the oregano. Heat in the oven until the cheese just starts to melt, about 5 minutes.
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.
Preheat the oven to a low heat and put the serving dish in the oven to warm.
Peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks. Bring a pan of water to the boil and simmer the potatoes until just tender, about 15 minutes.
Season the chicken breasts.
Divide the butter and oil between the two pans.
Place one pan over a medium heat and when the butter is foaming add the chicken breasts and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and continue to cook the chicken until it is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain the potatoes when they are just tender and leave for a couple of minutes to dry out while you place the other pan over a medium heat. Once the butter is foaming add the potatoes with the garlic and turn to coat. Continue to cook until the potatoes are golden and crisp, turning occasionally.
When the chicken is ready, transfer it to a 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 garnished with the parsley.
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.
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.
3 tarragon sprigs, finely chopped and stalks reserved
3 tbsp crème fraîche
*The sauce is enhanced by using a good chicken stock. In Canada I can recommend ‘Better Than Bouillon’. It really makes a tasty stock and doesn’t contain a lot of additives. In the U.K. I would choose the organic range.
Serve with baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet. Add the chicken and cook over a medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Reduce the heat, add the bacon to the pan and fry gently to release the fat. Then add the shallots and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until both are golden.
Sprinkle over the flour and stir to absorb the fat and juices. Cook for 1 minute. 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 until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken, bacon and shallots to a plate and keep warm. Strain the sauce and discard the tarragon stalks. Return the sauce to the pan and simmer until reduced by half, then stir in the crème fraîche and chopped tarragon. Season to taste.
Return the chicken, bacon and shallots to the pan and stir to coat.