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Entries in leek (3)

Friday
Mar272015

Fennel gratin with leeks and anchovies

Friday fun-day! Today I did my first live cooking demo at the Natoora shop in Turnham Green. And they call this work! Well, sign me up and call me ‘Chef’.

A month ago I started working for Natoora, the UK’s biggest importer and distributor of fine quality produce. Their main clients are restaurants - Ottolenghi, Heston, Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse – you name them, Natoora supply to them. There’s also an online and retail shop where you can buy all manner of delicious things and then some.

In the last 4 weeks I have tried so many new varieties of fruit and vegetables that I am starting to lose count. Oranges? Yes. Tarocco oranges with a blush of pink – new favourite.  Tomatoes? Obviously. Danterini, Marinda and Iberico tomatoes – everyday please. Radicchio? Been there. Radicchio Triestino – just about the most beautiful vegetable I’ve ever seen:

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Monday
Nov292010

Leek and stilton tart

I have been on rather a long journey this evening to arrive at this post. Metaphorically speaking, I have visited Greece, Turkey, the Balkans and Thailand before arriving back in England to the comfort and ease of a leek and stilton tart.

I started out by writing about moussaka, but I got tied up in a longwinded history of the dish which I decided to leave for a day of the week when I am not feeling naturally depressed and lacking enthusiasm. A perfect day then to write about a disappointing restaurant experience; that is how I ended up in Thailand, but it did not bring the pleasure I sought and I thought it only fair that I re-read it in a more forgiving frame of mind.

So back to England for a simple dish which requires little or no explanation.  It is a well known staple of the Modern British gastropub or bistro. Served warm with some dressed leaves or green vegetables it makes for a substantial lunch, add some new potatoes and it is a hearty meal for a cold evening. 

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Tuesday
Aug172010

Creamy chicken pie with leeks, mushrooms and bacon

 

Loser that I am, I was actually excited when I heard that the weather was forecast to be wet, windy and, by most people's standards, utterly miserable this past weekend. And when I opened the door to my little balcony on Saturday and was greeted by torrential rain, I was positively over the moon. Why? Because I have been missing my winter comfort foods God dammit! As you may have gathered, I get great joy out of making my own pastry, but apart from the fact that it is incredibly difficult to make decent pastry when it is hot, it is not much fun eating it in summery weather either.

I took this turn in the weather as my window of opportunity to cook and enjoy as much wintery goodness as was humanly possible in one August weekend: Chorizo, chicken and cannellini bean stew followed by apple and pear crumble on Friday; creamy chicken pie with leeks, mushrooms and bacon followed by Dad’s best ever brownies and vanilla ice cream on Saturday; and accidental tomato, mushroom and red onion tart on Sunday, all washed down with plenty of red wine. And to top it all off, I made the tart that didn’t go to plan on Sunday on Monday night as well. So much for the 2kg I wanted to drop for my trip to Croatia in less than two weeks.

This chicken pie is my own recipe and, as such, it tends to be a little different each time I make it. However, I have made it enough times now to have worked out which combination I like best (this one). You may prefer to add or substitute some other vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery, peas, sweet corn) or you may find tarragon too strong, in which case I suggest parsley or thyme. So long as the basics are there (chicken, wine, cream, stock, pastry), it would be hard to go wrong. Have a play around and see what you like best.

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