February Week 2
The end of this week is Valentine’s Day, and even if you don’t embrace the concept, it can be an excuse to cook a favourite meal for someone you love. This week of recipes includes a few that might be suitable, including a Roast Guinea Fowl or Chicken with Chicory and Bacon, the Artichoke and Pesto Tart or the Thai Beef Casserole. Scallops are supposed to be an aphrodisiac and they feature this week; but be warned – they are twinned with Jerusalem artichokes. These seasonal root vegetables can induce the most terrible wind, so if cooked as a prelude to a night of passion expect explosive results.
Guinea fowl are generally available at supermarkets and have a firm texture and subtle game flavour. They can be substituted with chickens if necessary, but it’s worth using guinea fowl if at all possible. In this recipe they are roasted on a bed of chicory and bacon – total preparation and cooking takes about 2 hours. The cooked chicory and bacon mixture is used as the basis for an almost instant pasta recipe later in the week, so the time spent browning and softening the chicory pays dividends in the end.
The Big Meal from Scratch recipe calls for two 1 1/2 kg birds, leaving enough surplus meat to make a pie. If you end up eating into the second bird, whatever meat is lacking for the pie can be made up with extra mushrooms. The pie takes 20 minutes to prepare and 20 to cook – comfort food that’s well worth waiting for.
If Jerusalem artichokes prove difficult to find, the bake can be made using potatoes, though the distinctive nutty flavour of the artichokes will be lacking. Altogether this Seasonal Supper takes 40 minutes – about 20 minutes preparation and 20 minutes in the oven.
This week’s Larder Feast is a tart with artichokes and pesto that looks impressive and is easy to put together. Most of the cooking time is spent softening onions then the tart is assembled and baked for 15 minutes in the oven. Feel free to add to the toppings if there are spare ingredients available – some ham or goat’s cheese would be a good addition.
In the Two for One recipe, Thai Beef Casserole, the meat doesn’t have to be browned, so once the spices and curry paste have been roasted the meat is added and the whole lot is cooked for a couple of hours. It’s great weekend food – very simple with excellent results.
To Full recipe details for this week are available in 'The Kitchen Revolution'. Out now in hardback.