45 weeks done!

09/11/2015: Vegetable stir-fry – Deliciously Ella

http://deliciouslyella.com/the-perfect-stir-fry/

A friend of ours was visiting tonight and she’s vegetarian so Mark found this simple stir-fry recipe. I loved the addition of tahini to give a thicker, nuttier sauce that brought a really comforting feel to this dish.

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10/11/2015: Winter udon soup – own recipe

I love to make udon soup and this is another staple dish that I was making all the time last year. For this winter-themed soup I made a dashi soup with dashi stock, soy sauce, and mirin, and added sweet potato, shiitake mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms, some lotus root and spinach.

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11/11/2015: Le Marchean Feast – Rossodisera, Covent Garden

http://rossodisera.co.uk/

Feast of Nations celebrated Mark’s cousin Liz’s birthday today and what better way than with Italian food! Liz found this little Italian restaurant near Covent Garden that serves food from the region of Le Marche, and we took over the downstairs area. Liz had pre-ordered a selection of dishes so we didn’t have to think about anything, we just ate! We started with a selection of appetisers like sliced Italian cheese, meats, and some olives in a citrus dressing. We also had some bread to dip into a delicious and delicate olive oil. I never used to understand how people could go mad for olive oil but I’m starting to get it. The stand-out pasta dish for me was the Fettuccine al Ragu di Coniglio which was fettucine with a rabbit ragu – just so delicious! We also sampled the Tagliatelle Sibilla with mushrooms, truffle sauce and topped with fresh truffle shavings. It looked so extravagant and definitely a luxury dish, but a little rich for me as truffle has a really strong flavour. I also loved the Agnello al forno con carciofi in casseruola which was roasted lamb with garlic and rosemary. I just have to mention the wine we had too which was seriously good! I’m no connoisseur at all but you know a good wine when you taste one! I’ll definitely be visiting here again!

12/11/2015: Pumpkin and cheese pasta – adapted from Love Grows Wild

http://lovegrowswild.com/2014/10/cheesy-pumpkin-pasta-bake/

I love it when pumpkins are in all the shops and you can decorate your home with really pretty ones…but they have a shelf-life and so I was looking to use a couple in our dinner tonight. I opted for this pretty naughty, comforting, indulgent pasta dish that I made as more of a pumpkin cheese sauce than a pasta bake to save a bit of time. It actually didn’t taste how I expected it to. Using parmesan and extra mature cheddar gave a crisper flavour that really complemented the freshness of the pumpkin without feeling really heavy and weighed-down.

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13/11/2015: Korean Pajeon – Arirang, London

http://www.ariranglondon.co.uk/

I really fancied Korean Pajeon after being inspired by our starter-as-a-main success with the duck pancakes last week. I looked for a few recipes and they look pretty simple, but with Mark and I getting home late from work on Friday and the weather not looking too happy, we opted for take-out. I probably wouldn’t get these again as they were expensive and so spicy which isn’t something I associate with pajeon, so will definitely try to make them myself next time! I also added more rice vinegar to the dipping sauce they provided. I made a little cucumber pickle salad to go with it to make sure we had something nice and fresh. It was really simple, one cucumber sliced into ribbons (just shave with a potato peeler or you can use a spiraliser on the ribbon setting), 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and a couple of drops of soy sauce and sesame oil (go easy with the oil – it can easily overpower) and then sprinkle with a few sesame seeds (yep they’re black sesame seeds in the photo – not ants!).

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14/11/2015: Rotisserie chicken with corn-on-the-cob and coleslaw

I’ve been looking forward to this dinner all year! You don’t get much easier than a ready-roasted rotisserie chicken, some corn-on-the-cob, and a coleslaw! This is a day-long event for me: eat the chicken, save whatever chicken is left for the next day(s) and then boil up the bones with a carrot, onion, spring of thyme and whatever else you want to create a delicious stock to use in winter soups!

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15/11/2015: Venison sausage with red wine sauce – adapted from Delia Smith

http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/main-ingredient/poultry-and-game/venison/venison-sausages-braised-in-red-wine.html

I bought these venison sausages recently when they were on offer and they’ve been in the freezer so I decided to get them out ready to cook something today. I found a couple of recipes for a venison sausage casserole so I’ve linked to Delia’s recipe here, but really I made a bit of a hybrid of a few recipes with this one in the driver’s seat. I used juniper berries in the sauce which I haven’t used before, but I’m so glad I did! They really complement the red wine and the richness of the venison meat so I was really happy with the result!

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