Category Archives: white wine

Seared Scallops with Spinach and Risotto

A little while ago, when I made the baked fish with courgettes, I bought the fish from our local fishmonger, something I’ve been meaning to do for some time now.  Of course, I went in to this little shop with a £20 note and credit cards to buy a small piece of fish and the gentleman working there very kindly told me to pay him next time.  Then I got busy, was travelling and so forth, and forgot to go back.  So it was probably a month or so after the fact by the time I got back there and repaid them.  I didn’t buy anything more that day, but saw that they had scallops and so back I went to pick some up for this recipe (with the correct change this time). It’s a nice little shop, with all of the fish fresh caught in Cornwall – so it’s best to go in with an open mind. Fortunately they had the scallops this time so that saved a trip to the supermarket.

The recipe can be found at skinny taste.com.  It’s the first time I’ve cooked scallops and I didn’t get as nice a sear on them as I would have liked, but it still tasted nice!

Seared Scallops with Spinach and Risotto

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Creamy Mustard Chicken with Spring Greens

My veg box seems to have shifted from winter cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli to spring greens, so this recipe from Abel & Cole sounded like a perfect way to add them to a meal.  Another dish with mustard – this time grainy mustard – though it’s softened with the honey and crème fraîche.

Creamy Mustard Chicken with Spring Greens

I reworked the recipe a little – the timing seemed a little short for the chicken and I didn’t want to overcook the greens, so after before adding the greens, I put it in the oven at 200ºC for 10 minutes, then back on the hob, adding the greens and continued from there.  For the thyme, it doesn’t appear to have an amount listed so I used 1 tsp dried thyme.

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Pasta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Asparagus

With English asparagus now becoming available,  this recipe for pasta with goat cheese and roasted asparagus sounded like a winner. Asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables and I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy it.  With pasta and goat cheese, it’s a quick and easy meal that tastes great.

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Asparagus

For the asparagus, I roasted for about 10 minutes and that was plenty of time in the oven. Next time, I might add roast some cherry tomatoes and add them as well and go with a stronger goat cheese – the one I used was fairly mild. Minor adjustments to recipe that works well as is.

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Salmon with Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter

More often than not,  when I cook fish at home, it’s in the oven in a packet, which means a super quick clean-up and no lingering fish odors.  For something a little different, I decided to pan fry it in butter, paired with puy lentils, another recipe from Epicurious.

salmon with puy lentils

The herb butter, with tarragon and chives, added a creamy richness to the dish, while the mustard and lemon juice gives it a bit of zing. Good flavours that go well together.  The pan frying really gives a nice colour to the salmon and wasn’t as smelly as I feared!

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Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup

Through the winter months, I get cabbage almost every week in my  veg box, so by this time of year, I’m in search of new ways to prepare it.  I found this recipe on  Orangette’s website and thought it sounded great, though it doesn’t look that exciting! The full recipe can be found here. It’s hearty and satisfying and the leftovers taste just as good (though they were more like risotto than soup). The cabbage takes a while to cook but can be done ahead of time; the soup itself only takes about 20 minutes.

finished soup

I used pointed cabbage rather than the recommended Savoy cabbage, but otherwise followed the recipe pretty closely (except I forgot the butter in the end).  Not sure I missed it, though I suspect it would taste a little bit richer with the butter included.

Cooking the cabbage

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Baked Fish with Courgettes

I’ve been wanting to do a fish dish for a while and have been searching for the right one – I don’t tend to cook fish at home very often, but I’ll definitely be making this again.  It was surprisingly tasty and a good way to use up some of my veg box courgettes and cherry tomatoes. The recipe can be found at House & Garden.  The site looks to have a lot of interesting recipes, so you may be seeing something else from there soon!

Baked Fish with Courgettes

For the fish, I used a hake steak from the local fishmonger, but everything else I had on hand.  A quick recipe that was easy to adapt for one person.

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Chicken and Leek Pie

Last week was British Pie Week here in the UK and although I’m a little late to the party, here’s a chicken and leek pie recipe that I tried, compliments of Nigel Slater via BBC Food.  The recipe can be found on here on the BBC website.

One of the first cookbooks I bought when I moved to the UK was Nigel’s Real Food, so I knew this was the right one for me  when I found it.

Chicken and Leek Pie

It’s probably more of a pasty than a traditional pie (what we Americans would call a pot pie) as it’s made with two sheets of puff pastry with the filling in between and then baked on a baking tray rather than in a pie tin. Easy, tasty and a good way to use up the leeks I keep getting in my veg box!

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Warm French Lentil Salad

When we were in Paris in late January, we happened upon the Maille shop, which sells all flavours of mustards and vinegars, including fresh mustard from a pump.  We ended up coming home with two ceramic jars of mustard – one with white wine and the other with Chablis and black truffles. Not that I need an excuse to use them, but any recipe that has Dijon mustard as an ingredient now gets a closer look.

I was in the mood this week for something fairly healthy but still delivered a lot of flavour and I think this lentil salad really hit the spot.  Not totally vegetarian because it does have bacon in it, but a relatively small amount. And it uses Dijon mustard.

Warm Lentil Salad

The recipe can be found at The Kitchn, a site which always has some interesting recipes and tips.  It might be better as a lunch but worked well as a light dinner. I really loved the fresh fragrance and taste of rosemary and sage and will definitely make this again.

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Mediterranean Shrimp Skillet

I didn’t expect to do another pasta recipe so soon, but I have.  I had a wine that I wanted to match so I went in search of a recipe that I thought would work with it, and it just happened to have pasta in it.

The wine I started with is a Rioja Blanco that is 100% Viura (many white Riojas are blends of Viura,  Malvasia and Garnacha blanca), base on a recommendation from a friend.

With the prawns and garlic, I thought this recipe would be perfect, from Iowa Girl Eats.

Mediterranean Shrimp Skillet

It was super quick to make, although I undercooked the tomatoes a bit (easy enough to fix for next time).  I made it again without the prawns and tomatoes, for an easy vegetarian meal (I also substituted the chicken stock with vegetable stock), and that was quite nice with both wines as well.

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Winter Squash and Chickpeas with Tahini Dressing

A few months ago, I started getting a weekly veg box from Riverford Organic Farms.  It was like getting a present every Monday morning, but  the pressure of not wasting all of these lovely vegetables was always on my mind.  Eat out tonight?  No! We’ve got cabbage and carrots that won’t eat themselves!

So when they invited me to a dinner where the food was made from that week’s veg box, I thought it sounded like a great idea.  And it was!  The food (all vegetarian) was delicious and one that really stood out was a slaw made with a tahini dressing.  So when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Not only did it have some of my favourite foods (squash, chickpeas, coriander), but it also had a very yummy sounding tahini dressing.

Winter Squash with Chickpeas

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