Archive for December, 2012

Spaghetti with Sausage and Peppers

December 5, 2012

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 (1-lb.) package mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, cut into eighths
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 medium-size red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking sausage into pieces while cooking. Remove sausage and drippings from Dutch oven, and drain well on paper towels.

3. Sauté onion and next 3 ingredients in hot oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and pepper; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in sausage, pasta, and cheese. Transfer mixture to serving platter, and serve immediately.

To freeze: Prepare recipe as directed. Cool 30 minutes. Place pasta mixture in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator 24 hours. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove and discard plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Turkey Spaghetti With Sausage and Peppers: Substitute 1 (1-lb.) package Italian turkey sausage for mild Italian sausage. Remove and discard casings from sausage. Increase olive oil to 2 Tbsp. Cook sausage in 1 Tbsp. hot oil as directed in Step 2. Discard any drippings in Dutch oven. Proceed with recipe as directed, sauteing onion and next 3 ingredients in remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

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Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie (Angela Nilsen)

December 5, 2012

FOR THE PASTRY

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter , cut in small pieces
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

FOR THE FILLING

  • 2 level tbsp cornflour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • finely grated zest 2 large lemon
  • 125ml fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
  • juice 1 small orange
  • 85g butter , cut into pieces
  • 3 egg yolks and a 1 whole egg

FOR THE MERINGUE

  • 4 egg whites , room temperature
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 level tsp cornflour

Method

  1. For the pastry, put the flour, butter, icing sugar, egg yolk (save the white for the meringue) and 1 tbsp cold water into a food processor. Using the pulse button so the mix is not overworked, process until the mix starts to bind. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather together until smooth, then roll out and line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottom fluted flan tin. Trim and neaten the edges. Press pastry into flutes. The pastry is quite rich, so don’t worry if it cracks, just press it back together. Prick the base with a fork, line with foil, shiny side down, and chill for 1⁄2-1 hour (or overnight).
  2. Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Bake the pastry case ‘blind’ (filled with dry beans) for 15 mins, then remove the foil and bake a further 5-8 mins until the pastry is pale golden and cooked. Set aside. (Can be done a day ahead if you want to get ahead.) Lower the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
  3. While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling: mix the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Make orange juice up to 200ml/7fl oz with water and strain into the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted. Beat the egg yolks (save white for meringue) and whole egg together, stir into the pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens and plops from the spoon. (It will bubble, but doesn’t curdle.) Take off the heat and set aside while you make the meringue.
  4. Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add half the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition without overbeating. Whisk in the cornflour, then add the rest of the sugar as before until smooth and thick. Quickly reheat the filling and pour it into the pastry case. Immediately put spoonfuls of meringue around the edge of the filling (if you start in the middle the meringue may sink), then spread so it just touches the pastry (this will anchor it and help stop it sliding). Pile the rest into the centre, spreading so it touches the surface of the hot filling (and starts to cook), then give it all a swirl. Return to the oven for 18-20 mins until the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured. Let the pie sit in the tin for 30 mins, then remove and leave for at least another 1⁄2-1 hr before slicing. Eat the same day.

Chicken Tagine with Dates (Angela Hartnett)

December 5, 2012

This is a cracking spicy stew that traditionally combines different types of meat and fruit. It’s also perfect for slow-cooking cuts such as lamb shanks, necks or beef shin.

(serves four)
Half a teaspoon each of the following:
Ground cumin; dried chilli; ginger powder; ground coriander
8 chicken thighs
30ml vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
200g dates, pitted
1 400g tin of tomatoes
Fresh coriander, chopped

Combine the dried spices, rub half of the mix over the chicken and cover for 10 minutes.

Warm the vegetable oil in a pan, season the chicken and colour it for around five minutes.

Remove the chicken, add the garlic and the spring onions and saute for three minutes.

Add the remaining dried spices and cook for a further two minutes.

Add the chicken, dates, tomatoes and, if needed, a little water to cover the chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Pierce the chicken to check it’s ready. If the sauce looks too wet, remove the thighs for a few minutes while you reduce it. Sprinkle over the coriander.

Serve with couscous and flatbread.

BBC Christmas Recipes

December 5, 2012

Christmas Recipes

Perfect Smoked Mackerel Pate (Felicity Cloake)

December 5, 2012

Serves 4

3 hot smoked mackerel fillets
150g cream cheese
100g crème fraîche
3 tsp freshly grated horseradish
Lemon, to squeeze
Small handful of dill, finely chopped

1. Skin the mackerel fillets and do a quick check for any bones – they’re not unknown. Flake three quarters into a food processor with the cheese, crème fraîche and horseradish and whizz until smooth.

2. Add a good grinding of black pepper, and lemon juice to taste, then fold through the dill and the remaining fish. Serve with rye bread or crisp toast.

Perfect Chicken Liver Pate (Felicity Cloake)

December 5, 2012

Serves 4

350g chicken livers, cleaned
175g butter, diced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
75ml madeira
75ml double cream
½ tsp salt
1 allspice berry, ground
¼ tsp ground ginger

1. Cut the livers into roughly 1.5cm pieces, and heat a knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and thyme and soften, then turn up the heat to medium-high, add the livers and saute for a couple of minutes until browned on the outside but still pink inside. Tip into a food processor.

2. Add the madeira to the pan and boil until reduced to a couple of tablespoons. Tip into the food processor, add the cream, salt and spices and whizz until smooth. Add all but 75g of the butter, and whizz again. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

3. Pass through a sieve into a serving dish and chill for half an hour. Melt the remaining butter and pour on top, then refrigerate until set.