Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Coq au Cidre

Many of you will have heard of Coq au Vin but perhaps not its Flemish cousin.  Made in almost exactly the same way but of course with cider not wine. We used our own home grown cockerel, and here's a tip worth knowing, if it's been free range it's going to be tough. Flavourful but tough.

There is only one solution. Very slow, long cooking time.

The recipe couldn't be easier. Put cockerel pieces (works for an old hen too) in a pot with a litre of cider a couple of chopped apples, an onion , some carrots and a few garden herbs.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly for at least four hours. At the end of this time, remove the chicken and push the stock through a sieve. Thicken the stock with a little cornflour if you wish, replace the meat and season to taste. Yum!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Lettuce Soup

This is brilliant when the veggie plot is producing lettuce like its going out of fashion and you are fed up of salads.  It's light and fresh and very summery.

One head of crisp lettuce (not iceberg... well you could but I don't know how well that will wilt down). One salad onion, a couple of spoonfuls of flour, a knob of butter, a litre of chicken stock, 100ml of cream, salt, pepper and a light grating of nutmeg.

Fry the onion in the butter until soft and then add the lettuce.

Let the lettuce wilt down slightly and then sprinkle on the flour and stir.

Cook for a minute or two but be careful it doesn't catch on the bottom.

Add the stock and stir well.  Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for about five minutes.  Turn off the heat and add the cream and then transfer to your blender and whizz until combined.

Season with salt and pepper and a scraping of nutmeg.  Heat gently to warm it through but don't boil it (a soup boiled is a soup spoiled as granny used to say).  Alternatively you could serve this one chilled... might be nice... haven't tried that yet.

Ah... summer is coming!