Saturday, 14 June 2014

Some summer recipes

I guess this week we've had the classic English summer, three fine days and a thunderstorm. And the warmer weather calls for meals that use summery ingredients - new potatoes, herbs and salads. Although I've included a celeriac in these dishes because there happened to be one in the fridge.
Apart from in the bake, I've not mentioned seasoning because that's up to you, especially in the potato salad as your bacon may be very salty.

This shows smoked sausage with home grown asparagus, warm new potato salad  and celeriac Waldorf.

Warm New Potato Salad - serves 2-3

400g new potatoes, scrubbed but not scraped
1 tbs light olive oil and 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
75g diced pancetta or chopped streaky bacon
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Boil the potatoes until very tender. While they are cooking, heat the light olive oil and fry the bacon and onions gently until the onions are tender and the bacon soft, then increase the heat and fry, stirring, until the onions start to brown and the bacon starts to crisp up. Then remove from the heat and add the extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and mustard.
Drain the potatoes and crush roughly then stir in the dressing and serve warm.

Celeriac Waldorf - serves 2-3

100g celeriac
1 crisp eating apple - Braeburn is ideal
50g raisins
50g pecan nuts
3 tbs mayonnaise

Toast the pecans in a very hot oven or a dry frying pan for around 5 minutes, leave to cool and then chop roughly.
Cut the celeriac into strips about the size of two matchsticks side by side and core and slice the apple, keeping the peel on. Mix with the raisins, nuts and mayonnaise and serve.

This photo (sorry about the quality, it was snapped on my iPad)  shows lamb escalopes in minted shallot sauce with new potatoes, fresh peas and a carrot and celeriac bake.

Lamb Escalopes in Minted Shallot Sauce - serves 2 (this dish was inspired by that 70s favourite, Steak Diane)

4 small lamb escalopes
a small knob of butter
2 torpedo shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp tomato purée
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
150ml beef stock
leaves from 2 large sprigs of mint, finely chopped
(optional) 1 tsp cornflour

Heat the butter in a frying pan and fry the shallots until softened. Push them to the side of the pan and add the escalopes. Fry  on both sides until cooked - this should only take a couple of minutes on each side. Stir in the stock, mint, Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée and bubble for a minute or to so the lamb can absorb the flavours. If you like a thickened sauce, remove the lamb and stir in the cornflour blended with a little water, and bring back to the boil stirring before pouring the sauce over the lamb.

Carrot and Celeriac bake - serves 2

I have used Elmlea Double Light in this dish, partly to reduce the total fat content and partly because it doesn't split if overheated. You could use double cream instead, but I'd advise standing your gratin dish in a baking tin of hot water to prevent the cream overheating and splitting.

100g celeriac and 3 medium carrots, both peeled and very thinly sliced
a small knob of butter
1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved
150 ml Elmlea Double Light
a little freshly grated nutmeg

Pre-heat the oven to 170C, 325F, gas mark 3.
Rub the surface of a gratin dish all over with the cut surface of the garlic, then discard the garlic (or use it in another dish). Then grease your gratin dish very lightly with a little of the butter.
Layer the celeriac and carrot alternately in the dish, sprinkling over salt, pepper and nutmeg  halfway through and again when all the veg have been added. Spoon over the Elmlea, making sure all the veg on the top layer get moistened, then dot with the remaining butter. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about an hour, until the veg are tender when pierced with the point of a knife. If the top layer starts to look too brown, cover with a piece of cooking foil.

You can ring the changes with this bake - potatoes, onions, parsnips, turnips, swede, sweet potatoes and butternut squash all work well, depending on what is in season (and what is in your fridge).


Hmmm.... just looking back up the page. Butter, cream, mayo, two kinds of oil.... if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know the Food Police have caught up with me!


Galina Varese said...

Brilliant summer recipes, full of flavours! I am very partial to a good old potato salad. :)

Unknown said...

love a warm potato salad... if i'm honest I always prefer winter food but all your plates look gorgeous!