Monday, February 22, 2010

More Can Cost Less.

Not all gravies freeze well, but here is a recipe for one that does, and it can be thawed and thoroughly reheated to serve with chicken or turkey. Veloute means 'velvet' so expect this gravy to have a smooth and velvety' texture.
Veloute Gravy: makes about 1 pint (F)
1 large shallot (or small onion) finely chopped
2 tblsp olive oil
3 - 4 fluid ounces dry white wine
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
18 fl oz (500ml) chicken stock
7 fl oz (200ml) double cream
freshly ground black pepper
Put the oil in a small pan and gently sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the wine and herb, and bring to the boil. Fast boil until the mixture has reduced down to a couple of tablespoons, then add the stock, reduce down by half then add the cream. Boil for 5 minutes, then add pepper to taste. Cool, then strain into a freezer container, and freeze until required.
To use, thaw and bring back to the boil (hob or microwave) then - after fat has been removed - add the pan juices from the chicken or turkey, reboil for 2 minutes, season with a little salt, strain and serve.

Roasted vegetables are a great favourite of ours (red and white onions, parsnips, red, yellow and orange peppers, courgettes, aubergines, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes etc., and although this next recipe suggests using roasted mixed peppers from a jar, home-roasted peppers would work equally as well, as would using other roasted vegetables. It could be useful to cook extra roasted vegetables, and then chill the surplus for up to two days to use in a recipe such as this.
Using the vegetables we grow, have in our fridge or veggie basket, and some chorizo in the fridge, home-cooked (frozen) chickpeas - or canned chickpeas - this is an easy dish to make that can have several variations. Instead of chickpeas we could use cooked butter beans, or other smaller white bean, and instead of peppers, serve grilled aubergine slices.
Warm Chorizo, Chickpea and Peppers: serves 2
1 tblsp olive oil
6 oz (175g) chorizo sausage, chopped into small chunks
1 x 410g can (15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
250g (9 oz) jar roasted mixed peppers (or...see above)
Heat the oil over high heat in a large frying pan and cook the chorizo for 4 -5 minutes, stirring to help release its oil and stop when the edges start to crisp. Time then to add the chickpeas to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until hot. Stir in the roasted vegetables and heat through, making sure everything is coated with the chorizo oil (this gives good flavour). Serve in individual bowls, topping with a dollop of yogurt.
Note: omit the beans, dice the roasted vegetables before adding to the chorizo, and serve as a spicy sauce with pasta.