Christmas Lunch : Honey and Spice Quail with a Fresh Grapes and Nuts Salad

DSC_0823It’s that time of the year again, the festive season is nearly here! Time to start planning what you’re going to eat for Christmas lunch or even Christmas eve. It is an exciting time of the year with all the cooking, baking and tasting of all those delicious Christmas dishes.

The honey and spice quail is good way to start your Christmas lunch, as you can have it as part of a sharing platter or as an entrée on its own. This recipe is a spin on the more traditional ( Caille aux Raisin) Quail with a grape sauce. I chose to marinate it in honey, verjuice, 5 spice, tangerine peel and sage to give the meat a unique flavour. I made a fresh grapes, rocket and nuts salad to match my quails, the salad adds freshness to the dish and complement it perfectly.

quail5_lefermier_231115Honey and Spice pan seared quail: serve 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 boned quails, Halved
  • 8 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tea spoon 5 spice
  • 375ml verjuice
  • 100ml water
  • 1 bunch sage, chopped
  • 1 garlic head, quartered
  • 10 peppercorn
  • 2 tangerine peel

Method:

  1. Mix the honey, verjuice, water, five spice and sage together.
  2. Place the quail in a container deep enough to contain the marinade.
  3. Pour the marinate over the quails and leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  4. Take the quail out of the marinade and pat dry. Heat up a large frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.
  5. Cook the quail skin side down first for about 4 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Turn the quail around and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove the quails from the pan and pour the marinade in, reduce until it starts to thicken and then put the quails back in and toss them around to coat them with the sauce.

quail6_lefermier_241115For the salad;

Ingredients:

  • 50g almond, roughly chopped
  • 30g pinenuts
  • 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 150g fresh grapes, halved
  • 150g baby rocket
  • 150g baby leaves

Method:

  1. Mix the almonds, pinenuts, hazelnuts  together in a salad bowl.
  2. Mix with the fresh grapes and baby leaves.
  3. Whisk 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, pinch of salt, 1 clove crush garlic and olive oil to taste together and drizzle over the salad.

 

DSC_0805Wine Suggestion: Domaine de Baron’Arques Le Chardonnay Limoux from www.airoldifinewines.com.au


Coq au Vin

 

coqauvin5_lefermier_020715

Coq au Vin is considered one of the all-time classic French recipes. Presumably, the original recipe called for Rooster, as the translation of the dish’s name is “Rooster in wine” but today it’s very much considered a chicken dish. This one-pot wonder is a delightful concoction of browned chicken, red wine sauce with salty pork lardons and mushrooms.

The best thing about this dish is that it tastes even better the day after you’ve cooked it because all the ingredients steep together overnight, making it a perfect dish to prepare in advance for guests or a busy week ahead.

More traditional recipes call for Burgundy wine, but I chose to make this recipe with Shiraz as I feel it gives the sauce more depth of flavour. There are some regions in France that use white wine for Coq au Vin, so really, you can feel free to experiment with your favourite grape variety.

Ingredients:

  • 1 free range chicken, around 2 kg and cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 litre red wine (I used shiraz but burgundy or Bordeaux are also popular choices)
  • 1 Bouquet garni (Make a fresh one from thyme, parsley and bay leaves – no pre-made teabags!)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves
  • Peppercorns
  • 1 small glass cognac or brandy

coqauvin4_lefermier_020715

Method:

  1. Put the chicken pieces into a deep cooking pot. I like to use my Le Creuset Round French Oven for slow cooking.
  2. Add the celery, bouquet garni, brown onion, carrots, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, cognac and red wine. Leave to marinate for 5-6 hours or overnight in a cool spot in the kitchen.

For the Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g unsalted butter or duck fat
  • 40g plain flour
  • 4 slice pork belly rashers, diced or cut into Lardons
  • 350g button mushroom, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 brown onion, diced

coqauvin3_lefermier_020715

Method:

  1. Take the chicken out of the marinade, discard the vegetables and pour the remaining wine into a jug.
  2. Place the cooking pot on high heat and add the olive oil and butter (or duck fat). Place the chicken into the pot and seal on all side until golden brown. Remove from the pot and keep aside.
  3. Add the onion and lardons to the pot and cook until slightly brown.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the onion and lardons and slowly add the wine while whisking. Whisk well to make sure everything is mixed through.
  5. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 ½ -2 hours on a low heat with the lid on but slightly open to let the steam out.
  6. Heat up a non-stick frying pan without anything in it. Add the mushroom and cook until they stop releasing water. Add them the pot ½ hour before the end of cooking.

coqauvin2_lefermier_020715

Side:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch purple Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch white Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 12 Kipflers potatoes, cleaned, peeled and cut in half

coqauvin_lefermier_020715

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place the vegetables on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Herb de Provence and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 45 minutes or until tender.

I suggest you serve the coq au Vin with a fresh crusty baguette and a glass of EVOI Cabernet Sauvignon available from Airoldi Fine Wines.

Watch the how to video below or visit my Youtube channel  here for more.

 

Peter Watson’s Spices

peterwatsonspices_lefermier_231014

Spices have been used by man since our earliest civilisations. Not only as medicine or to flavour and preserve food, spices were so highly valued that certain ones, such as pepper, were used as currency. Traded first throughout Asia, India and the Middle East by sea and land on exotic trade routes, it’s suggested spices found their way to Europe by way of the crusades. They were soon traded extensively and gave rise a number of Dutch and English trading companies in the East and West Indies.

Now that a plethora of spices are readily available (and much cheaper than in centuries past), here are some fantastic spices to try from a modern day master – Peter Watson. From his shop and warehouse in Collingwood, Melbourne he passionately creates and sells some of the best spices I’ve tried in Australia. You can find out more about them, him and where to buy them here : www.peterwatson.com.au

Lamb Spice Rub

What’s in it?

  • a mix of tumeric, paprika, garlic, onions, cloves, thyme, cinnamon, cardamom, soumack, ginger, black pepper.

What to use it for:

  • a spice rub for a lamb roasts (you can use it on other red meats, it’s just that it’s created to enhance the flavour of lamb)
  • a marinade
  • to add depth of flavour to a casserole

Tangerine Peel

What’s in it?

  • Tangerine peels

What to use it for:

  • Asian style dishes
  • a lamb marinade
  • in tagine style dishes

Beef spice rub

What’s in it?

  • a mix of oregano, cumin, coriander, mustard, garlic, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, mace, mustard, brown sugar,all spice

What to use it for:

  • Casseroles
  • Curry
  • Rubbed onto steaks and then grilled

Texas Dry Rub

What’s in it?

  • a mix of onions, garlic, chili, cumin, coriander, mustard, black pepper, all spice, thyme and paprika

What to use it for:

  • BBQ chicken
  • Marinated grilled meats
  • Also great with fish

Spanish Chicken Marinade

What’s in it?

  • a mix of basil, oregano, rosemary lemon rind, garlic, paprika, thyme, , cinnamon

What to use it for:

  • Roast chicken
  • Paella

Quatre Epices (four spices)

What’s in it?

  • A mix of nutmeg, ginger, cloves and white pepper

What to use it for:

  • A famous French spice mix used in pates, terrine and many other preserves

Berbere Spice Mix (African spice mix)

What’s in it?

  • A mix of fenugreek, cardamon, coriander, chili, cumin, cloves, ginger, turmeric, ajwan, all spice,

What to use it for:

  • BBQ
  • Marinades
  • Flavouring stews

Sage and Chardonnay Jam

What to use it for:

  • Delicious with turkey, roasted lamb, pork, game roast or even cheese

Quince Jam with Thyme

What to use it for:

  • With rich meat and game dishes and cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orecchiette pasta with salmon and Barilla ricotta sauce

IMG_3128[1]

 

Pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, with the first reference dating to 1154 in Sicily It is also commonly used to refer to the variety of pasta dishes. Typically pasta is made from an unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour mixed with water and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked and served in any number of dishes. It can be made with flour from other cereals or grains, and eggs may be used instead of water. Pastas may be divided into two broad categories, dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca). Chicken eggs frequently dominate as the source of the liquid component in fresh pasta.

Both dried and fresh pasta come in a number of shapes and varieties, with 310 specific forms known variably by over 1300 names having been documented. In Italy the names of specific pasta shapes or types often vary with locale. For example the form cavatelli is known by 28 different names depending on region and town. Common forms of pasta include long shapes, short shapes, tubes, flat shapes and sheets, miniature soup shapes, filled or stuffed, and specialty or decorative shapes.

As a category in Italian cuisine, both dried and fresh pastas are classically used in one of three kinds of prepared dishes. As pasta asciutta (or pastasciutta) cooked pasta is plated and served with a complementary sauce or condiment. A second classification of pasta dishes is pasta in brodo in which the pasta is part of a soup-type dish. A third category is pasta al forno in which the pasta incorporated into a dish that is subsequently baked.

DSC_0099[1]  DSC_0118[1]

Ingredients: for 2 people

  • 2 pieces salmon ( about 160g each)
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • ½ bunch dill
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 birds eye chili
  • 1 shallots
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 300 g Barilla orecchiette pasta
  • 1 jar Barilla ricotta sauce “ricetta speciale”

Method: Take the skin off the salmon and slice it into strips. Wash and fine chop the herbs, finely dice the shallot, chili, crush the garlic and zest the lemon.Sear the marinated salmon in a smoking hot pan for about 10 seconds on each sides, reduce the heat to medium then add the rest of the garnish and the ricotta sauce, toss the ingredients together and add the orecchiette. Season to taste and serve. Le FermierBon appétitPut the salmon into a bowl and add your garnish to it, mix it well and let it marinate for about 10 minutes.

Sear the marinated salmon in a smoking hot pan for about 10 seconds on each sides, reduce the heat to medium then add the rest of the garnish and the ricotta sauce, toss the ingredients together, bring the sauce to the boil and add the orecchiette. Season to taste and serve.

To watch the how to video on my YouTube channel, click on the following link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqTvciqaK8g

You can also check my social media on instagram and twitter @le_fermier.

Bon appétit

Le Fermier