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A little cheese and a little whine

A few recipes

These recipes have gone down well at dinner parties recently, so I thought I’d share them:

Blue Cheese Scones

These make an interesting accompaniment to soup but are good at breakfast too. They freeze well.

Makes 16

  • 250g Blue Cheese
  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 1/4tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Cold water

Put the flour, cheese and pepper into a food processor and blend to a fine crumb. Slowly add water until the mixture starts to form a dough. It’s not a huge problem if you add more water rather than less. Once the mixture is a little sticky, turn it out onto  a floured surface and knead for a few seconds to bring it together. Divide into 16 equal portions, roll into balls and flatten slightly to make discs a little over 1” thick. Place on a baking tray and bake for 35 minutes at 200C.

Chicken in Caesar Sauce

Serves 6 as a starter

  • 300g Crème Fraiche
  • 100g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 70g anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 450g chicken, cut into 3/4” cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  1. Gently sauté the finely chopped onion and garlic until just starting to brown, then add the rest of the onions and cook until they start to soften. The aim here is to get some caramel flavours from the finely chopped onion, but retain the crunch and sweetness of the coarsely chopped onion.
  2. Add the crème fraiche and anchovies and bring up to a simmer
  3. Add the parmesan and stir until melted and the sauce is smooth
  4. In a separate pan, fry the chicken in a little oil until brown on the outside and cooked all the way through.
  5. Add the finished sauce to the chicken and season to taste (you probably won’t want to add salt, thanks to the cheese and anchovies)

Serve with pasta

  • The lemon lifts this sauce and offsets the saltiness of the anchovies and the oiliness of the crème fraiche and cheese, but it can easily become too prominent. If you’re using ripe lemons, just add half the quantity of zest to start with, and add more to taste. If you overdo it, a few tablespoons of white wine will help balance the flavours.
  • You can blend the anchovies into the crème fraiche before adding it to give a slightly stronger anchovy flavour
  • If you’re cooking this at a dinner party, you can prepare the sauce a few hours in advance and refrigerate it. Then when you’re ready to serve, fry the chicken, add the sauce to the pan once the chicken is cooked and stir through until warm.

Lemon Pudding

This is based on one of the recipes in Lord James Harrington and the Spring Mystery, which is well worth 99p for the Kindle edition if you enjoy undemanding mystery novels. It produces a pudding with a sponge top and a lemon curd base.

Serves 6

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 25g margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g self-raising flour
  • 250ml milk
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  1. Separate the eggs and beat the whites to firm peak stage
  2. Cream the sugar and margarine together
  3. Add the lemon rind and juice and mix
  4. Sieve in the flour and mix again
  5. Beat in the egg yolks
  6. Add the milk
  7. Fold the mixture into the beaten egg white
  8. Pour into a well-greased dish in a baking tray of hot water
  9. Bake for 55 minutes at 180C

If the sponge looks a little pale at the end of the cooking time, return to the oven for five minutes at 200C.

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My Bookshelf

The Golden Bough
The Value of Nothing
The Fire
A Wolf at the Table
Devil Bones

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