Eight Bells

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Anniversary Dinner

11 years on the 23rd July 2006. It has raced by and if we weren't already married I'd propose again today (she might even say yes).
The lamb and the courgette recipe are taken straight from Cuisine magazine July 2006 and will serve 6-8.

Chicken Liver Pate
500g/1 1b 2 OZ of chicken livers
1/4 of a cup of brandy
1/4 of a cup of cointreau
90g/3OZ of butter
1 onion very finely chopped
1 garlic clove crushed
1 teaspoon of chopped thyme
1/4 of a cup of thick (double/heavy) cream
4 slices of white bread
Salt & pepper

Trim the livers, cutting away veins etc. Rinse, pat dry and cut in half. Place in a bowl with the brandy and cointreau, cover and leave for 3 hours. Drain the livers, keeping the alcohol.
Fry the onion and garlic over a low heat in a pan with half the butter until the onion is soft and transparent. Add the livers and thyme and stir over a medium heat until the livers change colour. Add the booze and simmer for 2 mins. Cool.
Place the livers and liquid in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Add the rest of the butter grated and whiz again until smooth. Pour in the cream and process briefly until just mixed in (we don't want to make more butter!)
Season the pate to taste using salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and then spoon into a dish or terrine smoothing the surface. At this point if the pate is to be kept over night chill it and then pour melted clarified butter over it to seal. Serve the pate with toast or as we did with ciabatta crackers.

Provencal Style Lamb
1 tunnel boned leg of lamb from Gourmet Direct
1 onion chopped
1 bulb of garlic with the cloves seperated but not peeled
2 tomatoes skinned, seed and quartered
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tablespoons of olive oil
300ml of dry white wine
1/2 a cup of black olives, stoned
2-3 anchovies chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/355F. Season the leg of lamb generously on all sides with salt & pepper.
In a large heavy casserole (we used the Le Crueset marmite again which is perfect for this) heat the olive oil and brown the lamb well all over. Add the chopped onion and continue to cook, stirring until golden. Add the garlic, tomatoes, thyme and half the wine and bring to a very gentle simmer.
Place the lamb in the oven and cook for 2 hours, taking out from time to time to turn the lamb and check the liquid has not evaporated. You may need to add more wine during cooking. Add the olives after 1 hour and continue to cook.
When you are almost ready to serve add the anchovies so that they melt into the sauce for a few minutes. This is what it looked like when it came out of the oven.

Take the lamb from the casserole and carve. Serve with the sauce and in this case a gratin of courgettes (zucchini).

Gratin of Courgettes
1 kg of small courgettes
60g/2 OZ of butter plus a little extra to dot the surface
1 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon of flour
250ml of milk
Salt & pepper
304 tablespoons of finely chopped flat-leaf parsely
1/4 of a cup of grated gruyere cheese
1/2 a cup of fresh white breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 180C/355F. Slice the courgettes lengthwise into 4 or 5 slices.
Arrange the slices in overlapping rows in an ovenproof dish. In a frying pan melt the butter and add the chopped onion, cooking over a low heat until it is soft and starting to turn golden.
Add the flour and continue to cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the milk and stir well until the sauce comes to the boil. Simmer over a low heat for 7-8 mins then season to taste, add the parsely and pour the sauce over the courgettes.
Mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top adding a few small pieces of butter to keep it moist. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins until golden. Serve with the lamb.


At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Kate said...

you great soggy romantic - thats sooooooooo cute. Happy Anniversary, and enjoy the food show.


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