Langoustine

I am a great fan of Langoustine.

Langoustine

When they are just right there is something about the freshness and sweetness that makes them delicious.

It can be hard to find fresh ones, usually they are available either frozen or defrosted. In terms of taste, fresh is always best.

I like mine simple with a bit of mayonaise or aioli, but they are also nice split and grilled with butter and garlic.

Bacon-wrapped chicken legs stuffed with pork and pistachio

Ingredients for four servings

4 boned-out chicken legs or thighs or even whole legs

pepper

approximately 12-16 rashers of pancetta bacon

dash olive oil

Stuffing

handful of sauasge meat, I used two (proper) sausages and removed the skins

half a handful of pistachio nuts,

half a handful of pistachio nuts, ground

half a handful of breadcrumbs

1 egg yolk

herbs, parsley is fine

Make the stuffing by mixing all the ingredients together.

Open out the chicken legs or thighs, season with pepper and divide the stuffing between them. Roll up to enclose. Lay about three or four bacon rashers on a board, overlapping them slightly. Put one stuffed chicken portion on top and wrap the bacon around to cover completely. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Cut four very large pieces of foil. Wrap each chicken parcel tightly in foil, twisting the ends to seal. Roll back and forth to even the shape. Poach the chicken parcels, two or three at a time, in a large pan of boiling water for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Allow to cool in the foil, then refrigerate for 30 minutes (this helps the bacon to ‘set’ around the chicken). Remove the foil and pat dry to remove any excess moisture.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and carefully sauté the chicken parcels until the bacon is brown and crisp on all sides. Transfer to a warm platter and rest in a warm place.

You can make a sauce by deglazing the pan with say some wine or sherry.

You can serve with vegetables.

With thanks to Gordon Ramsey for the inspiration.

I also made this recipe this weekend, but used pork loin steaks and no bacon.

Linguine with mushrooms, cream and saffron

In an pan of boiling water add the linguine. This will take 11 minutes to cook, but check the packaging to be sure. No need to add salt or oil to the boiling water.

In a pan, heat some olive oil.

Add some cubed pancetta and a finely chopped onion,

Cook until the onion has softened.

Add some sliced mushrooms.

Once the mushrooms are cooked (how long this takes depends on the size of the pan, how hot it is and the quantity of ingredients) add creme frache and a few strands of saffron.

Stir on a low heat until the saffron has imparted a golden tinge to the cream mixture.

You could use cream instead of creme frache, I use creme frache as I like the flavour. You don’t need to use saffron, but it adds a wonderful flavour as well as colour to the dish.

Once the linguine is cooked, drain, add the cream mixture, a handful of grated parmesan, a good twist or two of ground black pepper.

Stir well and serve.

Oriential Monkfish and Prawn Soup

This dish was inspired by regular visits to a fantastic Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. Don’t recall the name or the address, but it was in the vicinity of Liverpool Street Station and you could see the Gherkin… anyway onto the recipe.

I did this for two people, but by increasing the quantities you could do it for more.

In a large pan heat some sunflower oil. Once hot, add some oriental spices, I used Thai Seven Spice, but you could use Chinese Five Spice or what ever spices you like.

Add some sliced onion and some red pepper cut into strips, stir fry for a few minutes. If you like your oriential food hot and spicy add some chilli at this point as well.

Whilst this is cooking fry the monkfish in a little oil, keep the fillets whole. You could use other fish and this could be fried or steamed depending on the fish.

Add some courgette (zucchini) cut into strips and sliced mushroom to the stir fry.

After this has cooked (after a minute or two) add some sliced spinach (I would have used pak choi, but I only had spinach in the fridge).

Then add some stock, plain water will be fine or chicken or fish stock, don’t add too much as you don’t want your soup too watery.

Add the noodles, if you are using dried noodles they will need some cooking, I used prepared wok noodles for speed. If you are using raw prawns add these now (also if using other shellfish such as mussels or scallops and using squid, add these now as well.

Once the raw shellfish and noodles are cooked serve into bowls, ensuring that there is sufficient broth in each bowl.

Take the cooked monkfish, slice into thick slices and arrange on top of the soup bowls, there should be sufficient vegetables and noodles to ensure that the monkfish doesn’t sink!