14 December 2010

The Food Blog

Since finishing work and moving to the Cottage we have had a lot more spare time.  Instead of spending 11 hours a day at work we can relax and put a bit more time into our food preparation.  We both enjoy eating and cooking and so we have been doing some experimenting and making the most of the British produce before we return to Australia.

Corinne Started us off with a Gingerbread house.  There is no cooking involved with this pack, its more like art work.  The house was built from the pieces and then decorated.  A lot of fun and very christmassy.  The whole building is edible and did in fact get nibbled on one night after too many bevvies.

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We were out in Buxton the other day and popped into Waitrose (expensive supermarket) for some tarragon.  I came across a couple of partridges on sale.  These are small game birds the size of a poussin or large quail.  It is game season at the moment so there is lots of this sort of stuff about.  The birds usually come from Estate shoots and are cleaned and prepared.  They are usually quite expensive at about £6 ($10) each but i got them for £2.50 each.  They can be a bit hard to cook as they are wild so you don’t want to spend too much and risk having a bad expensive meal.

I decided to spatchcock the partridges and cook them slowly under the grill, covering the breasts with bacon and basting often with butter.  They ended up being very nice, quite succulent and no strange gamey flavour.  We also had some tarragon and butter Exquisa potatoes with salad.

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Corinne was encouraged by our friend Emma to make a Beef Wellington.  This is a fillet beef (supposed to be fillet but hard to find here) covered with a mushroom type mixture, wrapped in tarragon pancakes and then covered with pastry.  It seems a lot of effort to go to to eat a nice cut of meat but it is good over here with all the cold weather. 

The meal was great though hard to eat because of the size.  There was a slight sideways collapse of the meat too but that did not make any difference.

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Once again we were out shopping in Buxton and we came across a man in a truck selling seafood and game.  This sounds unusual but is reasonably common in the UK.  He had a nice collection of fish and also some rabbits, venison and pheasant.  We purchased a brace of pheasants (2) from him and decided to make a pheasant and brandy cream delight. 

We quartered the pheasants and then browned them and cooked them slowly with some bacon, cream, brandy (flambéed of course), mushrooms, tarragon (a new friend), butter and seasoning. 

The resulting meal was a smash hit (bias) as we got Em and Dan over and they wiped there plates clean (back me up Em and Dan)).

Once again we were suprised at both the amount of meat on the birds and its soft succulent nature.

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A few weeks back we came across chicken livers in the supermarket so we decided we would try a pate recipe we had found.

The recipe called for thyme, brandy, port, French shallots (like little onions), garlic and off course a lot of butter.

We cooked and chopped and whizzed and by the next day had a very tasty brown mixture which went down a treat with some French bread a a few drinks.  Unfortunately we did not get a pick of the completed product.

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Corinne Has also baked a no of cakes including a banana cake and a orange and Almond cake – both delicious.


Unknown said...

All looks delicious guys. Will have to start planning some recipes for kangaroo, possum and emu when you get home....

Unknown said...

Sorry - Myles has decided he's now a Michael! What can i say...

The Pettet Co. said...

Mmmm.... Suddenly very very hungry! Great blog, great pics, and awesome food!

Nise said...

Wow looks lovely. Such good cooks! I am impressed.

Janine said...

Excellent cooking both of you. I am growing tarragon, Ben. It's doing very well, so when you are back, you can tell me how to use it. Remind Corinne about "Schinken im Brotteig". That is also very delicious, similar in style to Beef Wellington. xxx

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