It’s November’s Monthly Featured Ingredient Challenge at I Heart Cooking Clubs and we are going with Apples and Pears! I still a lot of recipes marked with sticky notes from Hugh’s River Cottage Fruit Every Day!* and so I decided to make
Preheat the oven to 180 °C/Gas 4. Line a small roasting dish with baking parchment, or grease it well
Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sausages and cook them for about 10 minutes, turning frequently – they’ll cook through in the oven.
Meanwhile, cut a little slice off the base of each apple so they stand steady. Run a small, sharp knife around the equator of each apple, scoring the skin so it won’t split as it cooks. Use an apple corer to remove the core of each apple from the top. You’ll need to go into the apple with the corer several times, moving it into a slightly different place each time, in order to create a space in the middle large enough to take a sausage.
Stand the apples on the baking sheet. Pick the browned sausages up with a fork and push into the apple cavities, pressing them down so they go right in. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the apples are tender to the point of a sharp knife. Take out one of the sausages and check it’s cooked through and piping hot in the centre.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Have ready a large, wic flameproof casserole with a well-fitting lid.
You can grind your own spices for this generous, all-in-one rice dig or use a good ready-made curry paste for an easy option.
If preparing your own spice mix, put the casserole over a medium he add all the whole spices and toast them gently for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Take off the heat and grind the spices coarsely using a pestleand mortar or spice grinder. Mix with the turmeric and set aside.
Return the casserole to a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, a the onion, garlic, leek and cabbage. Cook gently, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes, until the veg are softened and reduced in volume Add the freshly prepared spice mix, or bought curry paste, and coo‘ for another couple of minutes, stirring a few times.
Meanwhile, heat the coconut milk gently in a saucepan with 300 ml water until smoothly amalgamated.
Add the rice, cashews and raisins to the veg. Add 1 tsp salt, or if using a ready-made paste that already includes salt, just 1/2 tsp. Stir well so that everything is thoroughly combined.
Pour on the warm diluted coconut milk and stir well. Make sure the ingredients are level in the dish, then bring up to a simmer. Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven( and check that the rice is tender (if not, give it another 5 minutes). Then cover the dish again and leave it to stand for 5-10 minutes.
Remove the lid and fluff up the rice a little with a fork. Scatter over some red chilli and coriander, if using, then serve. This is really good with a spoonful of chutney on the side.
For October’s Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge the IHCC members are going with: Alliums! I opted for leeks and prepared
Chicken, leek and plum pie
from our last chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Very delicious, I think next time I’ll use damsons or – how Hugh recommends – 150 grams stoned prunes. The winter leek season just started here. Did you know that leeks have superpowers because of their organosulfur compounds? Those phytochemicals may carry immune-boosting benefits. Leeks are low in calories and high in vitamins, healthy and … cheap-
Chicken, leek and plum pie
Yield: 3 – 4 servings
Chicken pie is a wonderful thing: all savoury, succulent comfort. This one is light and juicy; the thin juice deliciously flavoured by the fruity sharpness of the plums and the savoury edge of the leeks.
25 grams butter
a little olive oil; Ulrike: rapeseed oil
2 large leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into 1cm thick slices
1 garlic clove, chopped
about 500 grams boned, skinnless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks; Ulrike: 2 chicken thighs
100 ml white wine
1 bay leaf
1/2 Lemon the zest, a couple of strips
150 ml chicken stock
250 grams ripe plums
about 200 grams puff or rough puff pastry; I used ready-made all butter puff pastry
For the filling, heat a trickle of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the chicken.
Fry for 3-4 minutes until golden then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a 1.5 litre pie dish.* Add the butter to the pan then add the leeks and garlic.
As soon as they are sizzling, reduce the heat, cover and let the veg sweat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Increase the heat under the pan and pour in the wine.
Bubble briefly then add the bay leaf, lemon zest and stock and simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, halve the plums and remove the stones, then cut each half into 3 or 4 slices, depending on size.
Tip the contents of the pan into the pie dish, add the plums and mix well. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until large enough to cover the pie generously. Brush the rim of the pie dish with a little egg wash, then lay the pastry lid over the filling and press the edges down firmly on to the rim of the dish to seal.
Trim off the excess pastry. Brush the pastry lid with more egg wash, and cut a few long slits so that steam can escape. Bake for about 30 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown.
Serve with mash and steamed greens or broccoli.
total time: 1,5 h preparation time: 15 minutes cooking/baking time: 55 minutes
FOR THE DRESSING: Put the ingredients into a small jar with some salt and pepper, put the lid on an schake to comine, or whisk together in a jug to emulsify.
Quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter into a few slices and place in a large bowl. Slice the potatoes slightly more thickly and add to the wowl, along with the onion.
Add the dressing and toss gently before transferring to a serving bowl or individual plates. Finish with a scattering of salt and pepper an, if using, some fronds of dill or fennel. Serve with brown bread or rye bread and butter.
total time: 10 minutes without boiling and cooling the potatoes. preparation time: 5 minutes
This dish is dedicated in honor of Kim Kim, one of the I♥CC hosts and her mother, who passed away. My deepest sympathy with Kim and her family. I wish much strength and courage in this difficult period.
French beans with tomatoes
Yield: 4 servings
Tender green beans and garlicky tomatoes can be served as part of an al fresco spread, or with the meats at a barbecue, but even on its own with a good hunk of bread it’s a lovely supper or lunch dish.
1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil; I used rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400 gram tin of chopped tomatoes, or 1 kg fresh tomatoes, blanched, skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped; I was lazy and skipped the deseeding step
500 grams French beans, topped, tailed and cut into 4 – 5 cm lengths
black pepper, freshly ground
modified from Ulrike Westphal inspired by: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal River Cottage Everyday * ISBN: 978-074759840
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or frying pan, add the onion and sweat for at least 10 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook gently for another minute or two, then add the tomatoes and stir well. Stir in the beans, bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and season well. Turn down the heat, partly cover the pan and cook very gently, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes until the beans are fully tender. If the mixture seems to be in danger of sticking, add a splash of water or stock. Serve warm or cold.
VARIATION: This could also made with runner beans. String and slice them lengthways through one of those clever little ‚zip‘ cutters, or string and slice diagonally before proceeding as above.