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BEER MARINATED ROAST CHICKEN – Main Meal Choice A (Serves 4)

Ingredients
800g of chicken pieces (tights, legs and breast)
1 pint of beer (preferably a strong lager)
2 cloves of garlic
fresh rosemary
fresh thyme
50ml olive oil
20g of unsalted butter
salt and black pepper to taste
flour

Preparation
1. First, marinate the chicken. In a large mixing bowl we will place our pint of beer, the garlic clove cut in half, the rosemary and the thyme. Add our pieces of chicken and close the mixing bowl with some cling film, leave it marinate in the fridge for 2 hours
2. Remove the chicken from our marinade (keep the marinade, we’ll need it later), Flour the chicken and place them in dish, in a large frying pan pour the olive oil and the butter and place it on medium heat. When hot start to place our chicken pieces inside and sear them until they get a nice golden colour. Once you’ve seared all of your chicken pop them in a large baking dish and add the marinade we put aside before
3. Add salt and pepper to taste and bake for 45 minutes at 200c/Mark 7. Make sure you preheat the oven so the chicken will get nice and crispy. Ready to serve!

Recommended Wine: Cotes Du Rhone (France)

AUBERGINE PARMIGIANA – Main Meal Choice B (Serves 4)

This dish is delicious and easy to prepare. A great alternative to lasagne for vegetarians and a good way to feed our kids some extra vegetables.

Ingredients
1.5 kg aubergine
500g of mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese
1 small onion
1.4 litre chopped tomato (3 tins)
150g parmesan cheese
35g of coarse salt
1 litre of frying oil
50ml of olive oil
pepper and salt to taste

Preparation
1. Begin by preparing the aubergines: wash them and remove the stem and the base with the help of a sharp knife. Cut the aubergine to 1/2 cm thick slices, try to cut the aubergines from the long side to get longer slices. Once sliced, proceed to place the aubergines in a colander and sprinkle them with coarse salt. Apply the salt evenly on all the slices
2. Leave the aubergines in the colander for 1 hour. Place the colander in the sink or inside a large mixing bowl, this allows the liquid they produce to flow outside the colander. NB: You’ll notice after few minutes that they will start to secrete a brown water, that’s what you want to get to rid off. The brown water is the aubergines vegetation water and has a bitter taste, but once removed your aubergines will taste completely different!
3. After the hour has passed, rinse the aubergines and with a kitchen cloth dry them Next, get a medium frying pan, add 2 inches of frying oil and place it on a medium heat. Once the oil starts to boil, fry the aubergines. NB: Ensure the aubergines are fried evenly by spreading them out. Once they get a nice golden colour, remove them and place them back in the colander, still keeping the colander in the sink or inside a mixing bowl. When all the aubergine slices are fried, leave them inside the colander for 1 hour to remove all the excess frying oil
4. Our aubergine’s are now ready for the tomato sauce. Pour the olive oil in a medium casserole and turn the heat to moderate, add the finely chopped onion and let it cook until it becomes golden brown. Now add our chopped tomatoes and cook for 45 minutes, adding a bit of water from time to time, this is to avoid making the sauce too thick. Feel free to season and add herbs according to your taste. NB: I usually add basil leaves and oregano
5. Once the tomato sauce is ready, start to put the whole dish together. Get a large baking dish and place a bit of the tomato sauce in to cover the base. Place the 1st layer of aubergines on top of the tomato sauce, then place another layer of tomato sauce on top of the aubergines. Then sprinkle it with a bit of your mozzarella/cheddar cheese to cover the aubergine slices. Do the same with our
parmesan cheese. Repeat the process and create as many layers as possible using the same procedure until you run out of ingredients. Once ready, bake our parmigiana for 40 minutes at 200 C or mark 8. Before serving let it cool for 10 minutes

Recommended Wine: Chilean Viognier (Chile)

GLUTEN FREE POTATO CAKE – Dessert (Serves 4)

This is a very easy recipe and great for people who are celiac or gluten intolerant.

Ingredients
700g of potatoes
150g of sugar
70g of any gluten free flour (ideally if it’s Almond flour)
5 eggs
30g of butter
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
pinch of gluten free
breadcrumbs
icing sugar

Preparation
1. Start by washing the potatoes, place them in a large boiling pan on a medium heat and boil for 30 minutes until well cooked. You can always use a fork to check if they’re cooked. Once your potatoes are ready, drain them, remove the skin and let them cool down for 10 minutes
2. Once they cool down, mash them inside a large mixing bowl, making sure there aren’t any chunks left. Start to add the flour and lemon zest, mixing with a wooden spoon, then add the butter, the sugar and the pinch of salt and keep mixing with the help of a wooden spoon. This is the very important part, start to add the eggs but one at the time! Make sure before you add the next one, that the dough has incorporated the previous egg. NB: If you’ve got an electric hand mixer it will make the process easier!
3. Grab an 8 or 10 inch baking tray, grease the base and the side of the baking tray with butter and sprinkle the gluten free breadcrumbs all around the base and the sides. Pour the mix inside it and ensure the top is nice and even. Place it in the preheated oven for 1 hour at 180c/mark 5-6
4. Make sure the cake is well cooked by using a toothpick to pinch it in the middle, if it comes out dry the cake is ready! Let it cool off for 20 minutes and then dust it with icing sugar. Your potato cake is now ready to serve. NB: I will leave the decoration to your personal taste, I usually use fresh strawberries because my kids love them!

Recommended Wine: Mateus Rose’ (Portugal)

Quote of the month
“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” – Craig Claiborne

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