Thursday
Mar202008

stuffed pork tenderloin

stuffed-tenderloin.jpg 

traditionally, pork and i have not been great friends. i love proper bacon and have learnt to cook pork belly to perfection. i also love various salamis, chorizo and hams. however, that has been the limit of my interest in pork.

until now that is. on a whim i bought a pork tenderloin and it has been sitting in my freezer for several weeks while i mumbled under my breath about the silliness of such a purchase. pork? dry and flavourless - what a waste of a meal!

on the advice of a friend i decided that the best approach would be to wrap it in pancetta and stuff it so that there was an extra layer of flavour. i used a caramelised onion, chorizo, lemon and spinach stuffing and it was fabulous. the pancetta did a fantastic job at keeping the pork moist and the lemony stuffing added a wonderful range and depth of flavour to the dish, which we ate with a spinach and chorizo pilaf.

i’m so pleased that i’ve learnt how to use a new cut of meat and am really looking forward to experimenting a little more with pork. decent crackling on a roast is probably the next thing i need to try... any foolproof tips welcome!

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Tuesday
Mar182008

leek rarebit potato flatbread

leek-rarebit-potato-bread.jpg 

last year, the daring bakers cooked potato bread. i made a couple of versions – the prescribed daring baker’s tender bread as well as dan lepard’s olive oil and potato flatbread.

i much preferred dan’s version and having tried the “basic” recipe, noted his exhortation to try a leek rarebit version.

the recipe for the bread is the same but it is topped with a rich mix of leeks, mustard, dark ale and cheese. the result is a much richer bread, akin to a deep-pan pizza or cheesy foccacia. to be honest, it was a little too rich for me but i know that not everyone has such austere tastes, so i thought i’d share it with you. what do you think? worth a try?

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Sunday
Mar162008

monthly mingle - spring fruit sensations

MM-SpringFruitSensations.jpg

one of the things i love about blogging is the inspiration it provides me with. however, inspiration is only half the story. taking that exciting spark of an idea and turning it into something on the plate in front of me, is the real challenge.

and this is where blogging events come in – a challenge is issued and then it's time to start thinking what to cook so you can participate. and even if the timing doesn’t quite work, or the idea you’re working on wasn’t quite as delicious as you’d hoped, then it’s great to see what everyone else managed to come up with.

meeta’s monthly mingles are always fabulous for inspiration and i am delighted to be hosting the next monthly mingle on her behalf. the theme is spring fruit sensations and you need to get involved. whatever fruit is in season where you live and whatever you fancy doing with it, be it sweet or savoury, i want to know about it!

here’s how it works:

  1. create a dish that fits the theme of “spring fruit sensations”
  2. post about it on your blog anytime from now until 7 april (entries must be in english, please).
  3. link to this post and send me details (see below)

once you’ve posted your dish, send an email with “spring fruit sensations” in the subject line to: abby (at) eattherightstuff (dot) com by 7 april with the following information:

  • your name
  • your location
  • the name of your blog and its url
  • the name of your dish and a link to the relevant post
  • a copy of the main photo of your dish (if you use one)

let’s get cooking!

some fruit dishes to help inspire you:

 

Thursday
Mar132008

a life-changing ragu

lentil-mushroom-ragu.jpg 

there are a number of meaty dishes which i love eating so much that i’d struggle to be a vegetarian, simply because i’d miss them too much. one such dish is a good ragu, either for spaghetti bolognaise or a classic lasagne.

however, i have discovered a vegetarian alternative which is absolutely packed with flavour and has the tomatoey earthy richness that i demand from a ragu.

this puy lentil and mushroom ragu was inspired by two recipes – luissa’s fettucine with mushroom ragu and francesca’s puy lentil lasagne. i made the ragu this morning with the intention of turning it into a lasagne to feed to my friend julia tonight. but i couldn’t wait that long to try it, so my first sampling was with spaghetti for lunch and it was good. damn good.

so, the question is, do i turn some of the remaining ragu into a lasagne and share it with julia, or do i keep it all to myself? i can probably divert david from having any by telling him it’s “just lentils.” i’m not often selfish with food but i do feel that i need to spend a bit more time with this ragu before i share it…

the terrible thing is that there is over 1.5kg of the stuff sitting in the kitchen, so it’s not as though i’d miss out by showing a little generosity. so i shall be generous – i will share it with ruth at once upon a feast and it can be my contribution to presto pasta nights.

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Tuesday
Mar112008

barrafina, w1

it’s odd but if i am ever asked what is my favourite type of food is, it really wouldn’t occur to me to say spanish, but when i think about my favourite meals in recent months, it has been london’s spanish restaurants that have been exciting me.

and thanks to barrafina i am very excited. barrafina is the sister restaurant to fino, which is a long-standing favourite of mine. barrafina is a stylish tapas bar, modelled on cal pep in barcelona. it has a mere 23 stools placed around an l-shaped bar, behind which are the metal hot-plates (plancha) on which, much of the food you eat will be grilled.

arrive early and expect to queue. but don’t worry, the queuing is no hardship – a glass or two from their excellent wine list and possible a few tapas to stop your tummy from growling too loudly and the time will fly by.

in addition to the items on the menu there were a number of specials on offer, several of which we decided to try.

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