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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Roast Breast of Lamb Stuffed with Lemon, Capers and Anchovy

This was my first time cooking breast of lamb. This cut of meat is not particularly popular in Italy, which is odd considered that Italians are rather keen on what are generally considered the "poorer" cuts - oxtail, pig trotters, tripe and similar other anxiety-inducing dishes for the more squeamish diners. The main issue with the breast of lamb is that it has a lot of fat, and not too much meat; therefore, I decided to add the stuffing to bulk it up a little, and slow roast it to allow the fat to melt away. I was really pleased with the results, and it makes for quite a sophisticated looking plate of food, considered its humble origins!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Red Mullet Fillets with Green Vegetables & Prawn Noodles

This Asian-inspired dish is what I decided to turn the red mullet fillets I bought today into. I am still exploring my neighbourhood in Brussels, and this afternoon I found out that one of the nearby supermarkets has a decent fish counter. The red mullet fillets reminded me of a dish I always have when I visit Sam's restaurant in Fowey, Cornwall: there, the red mullet is fried in a tempura batter and served with coriander and chilli sauce. I shallow fried my fillets instead, to make the dish less heavy, and accompanied them with noodles, vegetables and prawns tossed in my home made coriander, ginger, garlic and chilli paste.

Salt & Pepper Squid with Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce

Who doesn't love fried squid? I make mine using cornflour and nothing else (no water or egg) as it makes for a light, non greasy and extra crunchy coating. Season it with salt and pepper first to make each bite one to remember. Served with sweet chilli dipping sauce, it's a match made in heaven.

Honey Glazed Roast Gammon

This dish takes a few hours to cook, which makes it more suitable for a Sunday lunch or a week-end dinner; however, even though it requires time, it is not too demanding on the energy or skills front. The honey glaze and studded cloves not only add lashes of flavour but make it shiny, attractive and a real centerpiece when served at the table, too.

Spring Vegetable Soup

This soup is really simple, but incredibly comforting and tasty. It lets the ingredients speak for themselves and allows their freshness to shine through. The vegetables that best work with this are delicately flavoured baby carrots, fresh peas, cherry tomatoes, leeks, i.e. all the ones you find in spring; hence the name of the dish. They are simmered in chicken stock until al dente (as they need to retain some bite) together with a small format of pasta, then dressed with a little olive oil, parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper. Goodness in a bowl.