Roast Pears Wrapped in Black Bacon

Method:

  • Peel the pears leaving the stalk intact.
  • Place the pears in a pan with the peppercorns, basil and wine.
  • Cover with cold water and cut a sheet of greaseproof paper to sit on top of the water whilst the pears are cooking to prevent them from bobbing to the surface and discolouring.
  • Poach until tender, cool.
  • Scoop out some of the core and fill the centre with some blue cheese.
  • Lay the black bacon out on a board and run a small knife along each rasher until it stretches out much further.
  • Wrap the pears tightly with the bacon, using two rashers if necessary, holding the ends in place with a cocktail stick.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • Brush the pears with a little olive oil.
  • Bake the wrapped pears on a baking tray for about 10 minutes or until the bacon is cooked.
  • Serve hot with a peppery rocket salad as a starter.
  • PLEASE NOTE THIS RECIPE WILL ONLY BE SUCCESSFUL IF FERMANAGH BLACK BACON IS USED:-)

Julia Childs Beef Bourguignon

Method:

  • Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long).
  • Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water.Drain and dry.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly.
  • Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
  • Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking.
  • Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides.
  • Add it to the lardons. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.
  • Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly.
  • Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
  • Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).
  • Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  • Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven.
  • Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours.
  • The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
  • While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.
  • Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
  • Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.
  • Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.
  • When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.
  • Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it.
  • Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.
  • Skim fat off sauce in saucepan.
  • Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises.
  • You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
  • If too thin, boil it down rapidly.
  • If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock.
  • Taste carefully for seasoning.
  • Pour sauce over meat and vegetables.
  • Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
  • Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

Matt's Muck Savage Chilli

Method:

  • Gently fry the onion and garlic in a little vegetable oil for about 5 minutes until soft.
  • Add the cumin and chilli powder and fry for a minute or two, stirring gently so it doesn’t burn.
  • Add the mince and fry till browned, breaking up any lumps.
  • Once the mince is browned add the stock, tomato puree, tin of tomatoes and bay leaves.
  • Simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes and then add the beans.
  • Cover and simmer on a low heat for anything from 20 minutes to an hour.
  • Just make sure to stir it every now and then.
  • You don’t want it like soup but don’t let it get too dry.
  • Add the chopped coriander at the end if you’re using it.
  • Serve the chilli with the fresh tomatoes (cut them into quarters, scoop the seeds out and then chop the tomatoes into dice), sliced scallions, grated cheddar and a big dollop of sour cream – gorgeous!
  • Eat with pitta bread or tortilla chips.
  • This benefits from leaving it and reheating, you get a much deeper flavour.
  • I often leave it off the heat and covered until we’re ready to eat it, just be sure to heat it right through before serving.
  • If you’re going to leave it for any longer than a couple of hours, cover it and put it in the fridge.
  • If you want to fool your kids into eating more vegetables, replace the tin of tomatoes with some blitzed veg.
  • In a saucepan, gently fry a chopped onion and some crushed garlic until soft.
  • Add a couple of tins of tomatoes and any veg you like. (eg broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, peppers, carrots etc).
  • Just simmer it all until soft and then blitz it with a hand blender. (This is also a good base for a different take on Spaghetti Bolognese)

KK’s Tortilla Cheddar Lasagne

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan oven 170°C, gas mark 5).
  • Grate the cheese onto a board and divide into six equal portions.
  • Pack the spinach into a large saucepan and add a little water.
  • Cover and cook for 3-4 mins until the leaves have wilted.
  • Drain well, squeezing out the excess moisture.
  • Cool for a few mins.
  • Place one tortilla wrap on a greased baking sheet.
  • Spread 2-3tbsp of pasta sauce over the surface, then arrange one third of the spinach on top, season, then sprinkle with one pile of grated cheese.
  • Place a second tortilla on top, spread with pasta sauce and arrange sliced tomatoes over the surface, sprinkling them with more cheese.
  • Repeat the layers until the ingredients are used up, topping the final tortilla with just grated cheese and tomato slices.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins.
  • Cool for 5 mins, then cut into slices and serve with mixed salad leaves.

Meaty Chilli

Method:

  • Brown the mince in some oil, remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Cut the chops into very small pieces and fry off in oil, remove with slotted spoon.
  • Cut chorizo also into very small pieces, fry off in oil.
  • Return mince & pork to pot and add all the other ingredients except the kidney beans, bring to a boil and simmer until all the liquid has reduced.
  • Add the kidney beans and cook for about 15 mins.
  • Serve on baked potatoes with sour cream & cheese, with rice or even yummier in wraps with sour cream & cheese.

Hummus

Method:

  • Put your soaked chickpeas into a saucepan with the bayleaf and onion, a couple of peppercorns and a pinch of salt.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer until the chickpeas and cooked through. this could take an hour to an hour and a half.
  • When cooked drain the chickpeas and remove the bayleaf, onion and peppercorns.
  • Leave to cool and then pop into a magi mix with your garlic and tahini paste.
  • Whiz and as the chickpeas start to turn into a paste slowly drizzle in your olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Add your sesame seed oil and whiz to mix in.
  • The consistency should be quite firm but not stiff.
  • Taste and add seasoning.
  • Be careful not to make the dip too runny as it will not stick to the bread of carrot sticks you serve it with.
  • Pop into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little paprika if desired.
  • Serve with pita bread, or carrot sticks.

Red Pepper and Chickpea Soup

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
  • Roughly chop the onion and add it to the oil.
  • Fry it gently for 5 minutes.
  • The pan should be hot enough to let the onion soften but not so hot that the onion starts to go brown.
  • Add the chopped red pepper and fry for 3 minutes.
  • Then add the chopped/crushed clove of garlic and as much red chilli as you like.
  • Leave out the seeds unless you like things very hot!
  • Fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add the coriander, turmeric and the cumin and fry for 1 minute.
  • Then drain the tin of chickpeas and add the chickpeas to the soup with the vegetable stock.
  • Bring it all to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, but not cooked to mush.
  • Liquidise the soup (you can use a hand held blender or a normal liquidiser).
  • Squeeze the lime and add the juice to the soup.
  • Taste the soup to see if it needs any extra salt or pepper and serve with pita bread that has been warmed in the toaster.

Banana and Blueberry French Toast

Method:

  • Peel the banana and mash in a bowl.
  • Add the blueberries and the honey and mix together.
  • Crack the eggs into a separate, shallow bowl and beat with a fork.
  • Put the slices of bread into the egg and turn so that each side soaks up the egg.
  • Put the bread slices onto a plate and smear the fruit mixture onto one side of each ‘sandwich’, leaving a little gap round the edges.
  • Put the other slices of bread on top and press down.
  • Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter.
  • Once the butter has melted, add the eggy sandwiches and press down.
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes and when golden brown, turn over and do the same on the other side of each sandwich.
  • Transfer to a plate and serve with a dollop of yoghurt or crème fraiche and a few more blueberries. 

Honey Roasted Figs

Method:

  • Cut each fig in half, lengthways.
  • Place the figs, cut-side up, in a flat ovenproof dish or baking tray.
  • Add half a teaspoon of honey in the centre of each fig and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over each fig half.
  • Roast for 15 minutes.
  • Serve with the accompaniment of your choice and drizzle with any remaining syrup that has been formed during the roasting.
  • If the syrup is too thick, add a little water to the syrup in your baking try or ovenproof dish and gently reheat on the stove top, then pour over the figs.
  • A nice addition could be some crushed walnuts, sprinkled over the syrupy figs. 

Garlic and Lemon Prawns

Method:

  • Bring a large pot of water, saturated with salt, to the boil.
  • Add the prawns in batches and boil for a couple of minutes, until they turn pink.
  • Transfer the boiled prawns to a large bowl of cold water (this is to stop them from cooking any further), drain and set aside.
  • Once all of the prawns have been boiled, heat a good glug of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  • Add some of the sliced garlic and fry the prawns in batches, adding more garlic, lemon juice and paprika to each batch.
  • Transfer all the cooked prawns to a large dish.
  • Dress with more lemon juice and the finely chopped parsley.
  • Tuck in with your hands and enjoy! 

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