Thursday, January 31, 2013

Drinks Party Canapes

 Nearly every Christmas in the week coming up to Christmas Eve I love to throw a drinks party and have twenty or so friends over to get into the Christmas spirit.

Along with the usual suspects of Mince Pies, Christmas cake I make a selection of Canapes in Croustades. This year I had some lovely Foie Gras which I put a touch of Marmalade in the bottom of the Croustade and topped with the Foie Gras
They were delicious, I also had the smallest tin of Beluga Caviar, so just enough for these Smoked Salmon with a Lemon Creme Fraiche
And to stretch it out baby Cherry Tomatoes cut into Quarters with a Cream Cheese topped with a drop of Basil Oil. I just love these one bite little gems, so easy and yet perfect with gallons of Champagne.

We all had a ball, and I have decided to do a lot more drinks parties throughout the year.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Navarin d'Agneau

I can't believe its been months since I posted! Well two reasons really firstly I have been making a lot of my favourites which I have already posted and secondly the light has been to dark over Winter to take a photograph. I will endeavour to do better.

Navarin d'Agneau or Lamb with Spring vegetables is a classic French farmhouse dish celebrating in a way the delicious vegetables in season. It truly couldn't be easier.

I used neck of Lamb on the bone,not a fashionable cut but superb in this dish you could use shoulder but give neck a try. Start by browning seasoned meat in Olive Oil, do it in batches in a large casserole dish,  set the browned meat aside and add two chopped Onions and two cloves of crushed Garlic stirring all the time,  takes around five minutes to soften.

Add Carrots chopped into large chunks some fresh thyme and there or four bay leaves,  add the meat back to the pot and add water,  you could add white wine first if you wanted to or substitute the water for stock,  but I think the simplicity of the dish is it's charm.

Bring to the boil and place the lid on the pot and place in a preheated oven at 160c for two hours.

After two hours bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add Green Beans and Peas and cook for four or five minutes.

Take the lamb out the oven skim off any fat on the surface and drain the peas and Beans and add to your casserole.

There you have it, I served with Cannellini beans but you could use new Potatoes, I also made a homemade Mint sauce not French at all but my friends enjoyed.