Leftovers. It’s a bit of a catch-all word. At its worst it refers to those fridge lurkers you always meant to turn into a tasty dish and then forgot about: bits of meat blanketed under congealed fat; a bowl of gravy so ancient its top has cracked like parched mud; a heel of bread so hard you could brain a burglar with it.
At its best it’s the beginning of a new and delicious meal, one where you can smugly congratulate yourself on your thrift and ingenuity Continue reading
I spent so much money at last weekend’s Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival that I may have to take out a second mortgage. It’s not that the produce was outlandishly expensive, far from it. I just got a bit carried away. It’s hard not to when you’re surrounded by arguably the best food and drink East Anglia has to offer.
Included in my booty was a new cookery book, Suffolk Feast, by Tessa Allingham and Glyn Williams (details below). It showcases not only 20 of the county’s top chefs but also their favourite producers. Continue reading
Picture by Humero Simpson
I came up with this recipe to remind myself that I really do love Spain and the Spanish, in spite of their banking bureaucracy. Continue reading
This is a handy recipe for using up leftover lamb and potatoes from a Sunday roast. I sometimes get bored with my use-it-up standbys of shepherds’ pie, pilaf and curry, so for a change I tried this.
It’s unpretentious, homely cooking but it’s quick, it’s easy and it tastes good. Continue reading
Easter means lamb to me and it’s a big favourite at Portly HQ but with spring in the offing I’m looking for something brighter and fresher-tasting than a traditional Sunday roast. Nor do I want to spend all day faffing in the kitchen when I can be catching up on the family’s news whilst quaffing unseemly amounts of wine.
This is (almost) a one-pot meal that’s bursting with punchy flavours – and once the dish is in the oven you can pretty much forget about it. Continue reading
It’s actually beginning to feel like Spring in our neck of the woods, with the garden full of snowdrops, crocuses, primroses and aconites and the first of the daffodils coming into flower. It’s said that in Spring, a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. That’s as may be. Mine turns to thoughts of lamb. Continue reading
I once cooked this for a big luncheon party alongside a nice, rare, roasted leg of lamb and everyone ignored the leg to tuck into the shoulder. The shoulder is cooked long and slow and is so tender by the end that it’s literally falling off the bone. It takes five and a half hours not counting prep time, so you have to plan ahead, but once it’s in the oven it’s pretty much trouble-free. Continue reading
This cut comes from where the loin meets the leg and although it is sometimes cut into steaks or chops, it also makes a good little roasting joint that only needs browning on all sides then 10 or 12 minutes in the oven to produce a succulent supper for two.
Its speed of cooking means it’s a favourite in restaurants and according to one article I read, for romantic dinners à deux. I’m not sure how romantic a lamb rump is but it’s certainly very tender. Continue reading
… or pinchos morunos, as they’re known in Spain. These are tasty little skewers of meat marinated in a mixture of paprika, cumin, cayenne and thyme and they make a good but not overwhelming starter, or you can use them as part of a tapas-style meal. Continue reading
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.)
This is a tale of two tagines. A tagine, of course, can be either a particular sort of Moroccan stew (for want of a better word) or the dish it is cooked in. Continue reading