Category Archives: French

Chicken en papillote


This recipe for chicken cooked in parchment paper, is simple, quick and easy.  First trim the vegetables cutting the carrot and celery into reasonably sized chuncks, a couple of centimetres wide.  Half the potatoes and trim andy skin off the chicken.

Next lay the parchment paper out on a flat surface, you’ll need enough to make a pocket for all the ingredients.  fold the paper in half then turn the side edges in tightly to form a pocket with a hole at the top.

Pour all of the ingredients into the pocket, the wine last, you can also add parsley or any other herbs at this point.  Season well with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tablespoon of salt)

Fold over the final edge so the pocket is now airtight and place on a baking tray, it is very imporant that the packet is tightly formed so that all the moisture stays inside  cook in the oven for around 35 mins or until the potatoes are fully cooked and serve.

Lamb and red wine casserole


Heat a casserole pan until really hot and add about a tbsp of oil. Fry the lamb until browned all over. Make sure and get some good colour on the meat at this stage as it will enhance the flavour of the finished dish. Remove the lamb from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce the heat and add the knob of butter to the pan. Fry the onion, celery and carrot for a few minutes, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the pan.. Cover and leave to ‘sweat’ for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and rosemary and return the browned meat to the pan. Sprinkle over the flour and stir everything together. Turn the heat up and add the wine. Stir and allow to bubble over a fairly high heat for 5 minutes or so, until the wine has reduced slightly. Add the stock and season. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and leave to simmer gently for 1 and a half hours, checking and stirring occasionally.

Serve with Special Potatoes and lots of lovely vegetables.

Beef fillet with a gratin of mushrooms

Prepare the topping ahead. Gently saute the shallot and garlic in 1 tbsp oil for about 5 minutes until softened.

Remove from the pan into a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add a further 2 tbsp oil to the pan and saute the mushrooms over a high heat, stirring frequently for about 7 minutes until browned and softened. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced away. The mixture should be quite dry.

Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the onions and mix in the herbs. Season and allow to cool.

Whip the cream until softly stiff, then fold into the cooled mushroom mixture along with the egg yolk. Cover and chill until required.

Brush the steaks with the remaining oil and season them. Heat a large non-stick frying pan until it is really hot. Cook the steaks for about 2-3 minutes, turning them to sear all over. Remover from the pan.

Heat the oven to 220C. Put the steaks on ashallow baking tray. Pile the mushroom mixture on top of the steaks and dust with Parmesan. Cook, uncovered, for about 7 minutes or until the topping is bubbling and golden. serve immediately. Good with roast potatoes and a green vegetable.

Scalloped potatoes with bacon and tarragon

Peel and slice the potatoes. Place half in a greased ovenproof dish and season well. Sprinkle with the onion, tarragon and bacon then cover with the rest of the potatoes. Pour   over the cream/milk and cover with greased foil.

Cook in the oven (200C) for about 1 and a half hours or until almost tender. Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese. Return to oven, uncovered for 15-20mins.

Boulangere potatoes


  • 4 or 5 Potatoes, sliced thinly
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • Chicken or vegetable stock


Jumble the potatoes in a shallow baking dish with the salt and pepper, garlic onion and bay. Spread them out in the dish so they are evenly distributed.

Pour over enough stock to just come level with the top layer then bake in a pre-heated oven (180C) for an hour or so until they are tender and the stock has been absorbed into them.

Potato chunks with lemon, anchovies and rosemary


  • 900g Potatoes (King Edwards, Maris Pipers) cut into chunks
  • 50g Can anchovies in olive oil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 25g Butter
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • Handful fresh rosemary, chopped


Preheat oven to 220C.  Place all ingredients in a baking dish and add 150ml hot water.

Mix well and cook at the top of the oven for 1 hour, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly browned. All the liquid should have been absorbed into the potatoes.

Good with chicken, lamb chops, cod steaks and winter vegetables.

Potato and fennel dauphinoise


  • 1 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1cm thick
  • 1 Bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 300ml Double cream
  • 300ml Milk
  • 100g Gruyere, grated
  • 75g Parmesan, grated
  • Salt and pepper


Heat oven to 200C.

In an ovenproof dish, layer the potatoes, fennel and garlic.

In a bowl, mix together the cream, milk, 75g of the gruyere and the parmesan. Season then pour this over the potatoes and fennel.

Cook in the oven for about 50 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Sprinkle over the rest of the gruyere and finish off under a hot grill until golden brown.

Serve with chicken, pork and fish dishes.

Provencal Tomatoes


  • 2 Large beef tomatoes
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • Selection of fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley)
  • Handful of fresh breadcrumbs
  • Large handful of grated parmesan
  • Salt & pepper


Preheat oven to 180C.  Slice tomatoes in half across the way. Fry (cut side down) in olive oil until caramelised. This will take 10 mins or so. Once caramelised, place in a roasting tray.

Finely chop the garlic and herbs and sprinkle some onto each tomato half.
Season. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs onto each tomato half and then some parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 10 mins until the tops are brown and bubbling.

Pumpkin, sage and parmesan gratin


  • 1kg Pumpkin or other squash such as butternut, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 Garlic cloves chopped
  • 6-8 Sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 150ml Double cream
  • 50g Parmesan grated


Heat oven to 200C. In a large gratin dish, toss the pumpkin or butternut squash with the olive oil. Season and roast for 40 mins until soft.
Meanwhile, heat the cream, garlic and sage leaves in a small pan until almost boiling. Remove from heat.
Remove pumpkin from the oven and pour over the infused cream.

Scatter on the cheese. Return to oven for 20mins until bubbling and golden.  Ideal served with roasts, steak or sausages.