February 2012 Recipes (provided by Tony Heath)
Spiced Poached Pears with Rich Dark Chocolate Sauce
- 6 firm slightly under ripe pears
- Approx 500 mls water
- 150 gms sugar
- Rind of one orange
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
Place the water in a saucepan with the sugar, strips of orange peel and the whole spices. Bring to the boil, stirring to blend in the sugar. Hold the liquid at a steady simmer, peel the pears trying to leave the stalk intact for ease of lifting the pears in and out of the pan. Place them into the liquid and poach for about 20 minutes depending on size of the pears. Test with the sharp point of a knife which should slide into the flesh very easily.
Leave the pears to cool in the cooking liquid while you make the sauce.
- Chocolate sauce
- 100 gms plain dark chocolate, chopped
- 60 gms unsalted butter, diced
- 20 mls dark rum
- 80 mls water
Place all the ingredients into a pyrex bowl set over a small saucepan of steaming not boiling water. Stir frequently until the chocolate has melted and the sauce is very smooth. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until glossy and slightly thickened. Keep warm.
Remove the pears from the liquor; they can either be quartered and cored for serving in a dish or can be served whole in which case the bases will have to be shaved off to allow the pears to stand upright. Pour the sauce over the warm pears and serve immediately. Crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream would be the perfect accompaniment.
Cod Chowder with Prawns and Queen Scallops
- 25 gms butter
- 125 gms streaky bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 white of leek, chopped
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 450 mls fish stock
- 450 mls milk
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- Good pinch of mace
- Bouquet garni
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pinch cayenne
- Approx 750 gms cod fillet, skinned and cut into 2 cm cubes
- Approx 125 gms queen scallop meat
- Approx 125 gms peeled prawns
- Approx 60 mls cream
- Chopped parsley and chives to serve
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the bacon, onion and leek and cook gently for a few minutes. Stir in the flour and cook out for a further minute before slowly adding the fish stock followed by the milk. Add the potatoes, bouquet garni, mace, cayenne and pepper and a little salt.
Simmer until the potatoes are almost cooked. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary then add the cod and cook gently for a further 2 minutes before adding the shellfish and the cream. Reheat very gently then serve immediately in deep bowls garnished with the chopped herbs.
n.b. other shellfish such as mussels and or surf clams could be added to the chowder. Just cook them quickly separately and separate from the shells before adding.
Hilton Wild Boar Sausages cooked in Beer with Juniper and Thyme
- Allow 2-3 sausages per person, flavour of your choice
- 1 small pack of bacon or pancetta lardons or chopped boar bacon 100gms approx
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 3 shallots finely sliced
- 6 crushed juniper berries
- 1 sprig thyme and 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp plain flour
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 desert spoon of redcurrant or apple jelly
- 1 bottle or can of dark ale or stout approx 440mls
- 2 tbsp chicken stock
- Approx 100 gms small button mushrooms
- 2-3 dessert apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 segments from each
- Butter and olive or rapeseed oil
- Seasoning to taste
First par cook the sausages either in a sauté pan on the top of the stove or place into the oven; they need a little even colour, about 5-7 minutes should do.
Use the same pan to sauté the mushrooms in a little oil and butter for 2-3 minutes. Add the apple segments and carefully sauté for a further 2 minutes before lifting out of the pan with a slotted spoon both mushrooms and apple, keep warm
Now heat a deep sided sauté pan or le creuset pan. Add a little oil and then the shallots, garlic and bacon and juniper. Cook gently for about 3 minutes then stir in the flour. Cook out for a minute before slowly adding the beer and the chicken stock. Simmer for 2 minutes then add the jelly, Dijon mustard, thyme and bay leaves.
Allow to simmer and thicken, check the seasoning before adding the par cooked sausages either whole or sliced up as you wish. Cook on a gentle heat either on the stove or in the oven with lid off for about 10 minutes.
Remove thyme and bay leaves if possible and add the mushrooms and apple segments. Stir through and serve with mashed or champ potatoes and perhaps some buttered greens.