Tag Archives: new potatoes

Crab gratin and if it looks like a dog and barks like a dog…

crabgratin2

 

…but eats like a human, then it’s probably Hugo.

HugojournoandJava

I’m in splendid shape, but every year Bossy insists on taking me to visit the vet. She knows that I’m a force to be reckoned with when it comes to socialising with other animals, but she seems adamant on putting herself through the trauma. Upon arrival, I willingly led her – perhaps even dragged her if I’m entirely honest – to the door, which I only had to headbutt once to open. I then efficiently ushered her (again, if we’re being pedantic, ‘hauled her’ might be more accurate) to the reception desk, where I planted my front paws on the desk in a business-like manner. By this time, for some reason, Bossy was very red in the face. The vet is a nice lady and I gave her a big lick on the face to show that I felt no ill will towards her, even though she spent rather a long time prodding my private parts. When we were ready to leave, she told me that I had been a good boy (yeah, whatever) and gave me a dog biscuit. I mean, really? A dog biscuit? Who does she think I am? Camembert? Yes. Foie Gras? Yes. Dog biscuit? Err, not so much. Does she not know that I’m a foodie? Anyway, I spat it out onto the floor because I think it must have been a joke. Bossy by this time was even redder in the face and really quite flustered and tried to explain that I was off my food. What a liar! I’m not off normal food, just dog biscuits…

Ingredients (serves 4)

250g new potatoes, peeled, sliced and cooked

2 leeks, sliced and cooked

250g crabmeat (I used tinned)

150g sweetcorn

1 large spring onion, finely sliced

150ml pouring cream

Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)

100g hard cheese, grated (I used Comté)

Fresh parsley to garnish

Preheat the grill. Place the potatoes, leeks, crabmeat, sweetcorn and onion together in an oven-proof dish and then add the cream and seasoning. Mix well and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Cook under the grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden (about eight minutes). Garnish with the fresh parsley before serving.

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New potato oven raclette and a dog at the end of his tether

racelette hugotypewriter1by

My patience has reached its limits, especially when it comes to pests with wings. I thought we’d seen the back of the tweeting squatter after I had explained (with my teeth showing) that she had delighted us long enough with her presence. I think that my natural assertiveness must be very intimidating because she flew off that very evening. I thought that was that; alas I was mistaken. She comes back at least once or twice every single day for a bellyful of couscous and special dove grains and a snooze. How can she possibly be so hungry and so tired? It’s not as if she has a proper job like me. What annoys me most is how pleased they always are to see her. She fascinates them so much (why?) that they sometimes forget to give me my camembert after lunch, which makes me feel unloved. And as if all this isn’t irritating and hurtful enough, a large bird with a long neck has also turned up. It’s called a heron apparently and thank goodness it doesn’t come into the house because it’s very big indeed. All in all, I’ve had it up to the back of my impressive canines with anything that flaps or chirps. This raclette dish isn’t my favourite, although they seemed to love it for some reason. The upside, however, is that it contains cheese, which is not at all good for birds, so that can only be a good thing.

Ingredients (serves 4)

225g new potatoes, cooked

1 tablespoon olive oil

100g raclette cheese, grated (although any hard cheese will work)

1 medium-sized onion, finely sliced

4 slices Bayonne ham, roughly cut into strips (or Parma ham)

Sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

4 or 5 leaves of fresh basil to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a medium-sized oven-proof dish by greasing with olive oil. Slice the potatoes into pieces roughly 3mm thick and create a layer on the bottom of the dish, sprinkle with cheese, add a few strips of ham and onion and continue layering until everything is used up. Make sure to save a bit of cheese to sprinkle on top along with the seasoning. Cook for 40 minutes, garnish with the basil leaves and serve with crisp green salad. And don’t listen to Hugo – it’s divine!

leotweety heron

Navarin of chicken

I know that, strictly speaking, this should be navarin of lamb. I did briefly hover over the lamb counter, but before I’m ever able to pass from hover to purchase so many images of sweet, fluffy new-born lambs dancing in the long spring grass come to mind that I just can’t do it. Mind you, now that we have hens and I see them living their free-range lives, chicken will no doubt be off the menu soon too!

From an idealistic perspective I should probably be a vegetarian, but I remain entrenched in my conviction that we are meant to eat at least a small amount of meat. I’ve also seen too many miserable-looking vegetarians for it to be an attractive proposition; why is it that they so often look grey and dour?

The term ‘navarin’ is really a reference to the vegetable content of the dish and not the meat, so here is my Navarin for Sensitives Souls:

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 chicken wings and 4 legs

4 spring onions

10 baby carrots

4 baby leaks

6 new potatoes

4 baby turnips

1 courgette

cup of peas

olive oil

seasoning (salt, pepper, chicken stock)

bay leaf, rosemary, fresh mint

2 glasses of dry white wine

Slice the onions and gently brown in a casserole dish in the olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and seasoning and brown gently for a couple of minutes. Add the wine, chicken stock and herbs. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the carrots, leaks, turnips and potatoes. Place in a preheated oven (180°C) for an hour and then add the peas and sliced courgettes, making sure that the liquid level in the dish is still at least 3cms. Cook for a further 20 minutes and add the fresh chopped mint just before serving.