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Italian Pork, Chicken and Chestnut Terrine – variations on an Autumn theme!

Italian Pork, Chicken and Chestnut Terrine – variations on an Autumn theme!

This is a very short follow up on the Autumn Pork and Chestnut Terrine blog from a few weeks ago which you can find here.  This was largely the same recipe and so we will not repeat that here.  The differences were simple and largely for visual appeal.  Instead of confining the pancetta lardons to a layer in the middle of the terrine, these were mixed into the terrine mixture.  Their place was taken by a thin layer of chicken breast.  This had been cut off some chicken we were going to eat that evening.  On top of the chicken layer we added a more substantial layer of the boiled chestnuts.

The final difference was that we bought enough pancetta slices this time to cover the whole terrine!  In the UK if I buy pancetta it is usually cut a little thicker than we find in Italy.  We therefore tend to stretch it and thin it a little by running the back of a knife along its length. There was no need to do that with the thinner pancetta.

We have also been asked what we would use instead of the Tuscan sausages when we cook this in the UK.  The answer is quite simple in that these Tuscan sausages are just minced pork (a mixture of shoulder and belly usually) with a generous dose of salt and pepper.  So in the UK minced pork bought from a butcher or pork minced at home.  The only point to watch is that Italian pork tends to be more fatty than the pork we have become used to in the UK.  It is this that gives it its special taste.   So if you are trying to recreate this don’t stint on the pork fat.  Indeed, if you get the chance (in the UK) add a little more!

As the sausages in Tuscany are already seasoned we have needed to add less salt and pepper to the overall mix. If using minced pork you will need to add more.  If in doubt – fry a little of the mix off, let it cool well and taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.  Alter the overall amounts of the ingredients to suit the size of your terrine.  If you keep the proportions similar to this you won’t go far wrong.

 

For the Original recipe: – Click here

 

 

Sautéed Potatoes with Onion, Garlic Rosemary and Peas

Sautéed Potatoes with Onion, Garlic Rosemary and Peas

Sometimes it is the simplest of dishes that give the most satisfaction.  This is very much one of those dishes!  It is hard to better simple roast potatoes – but this is a dish that does that!.  Indeed it would be a lovely simple supper dish in its own right!  This is a sautéed potato dish with onions, garlic, rosemary and peas.  The secret is to hold your nerve and cook it for (more…)

Slow roasted caramelised fennel – latest reflections

Slow roasted caramelised fennel – latest reflections

We have returned to this dish so often – in so many ways it has been the ‘go to’ dish of the summer!  It has also been popular with friends who have adopted the dish and have added it to their own regular cooking repertoire.  It is incredibly versatile and so easy to cook too! – see original post with recipe here

The transformation of a simple fennel bulb and a handful of small tomatoes requires no more than some heat and a heavy metal surface on which to allow the caramelising process to occur.  To balance the dish, a little salt and pepper, perhaps a teaspoon of fennel seeds and some rapeseed oil – let the magic begin!

Whilst you could do this dish in a domestic oven it is perfectly suited to Kamado cooking with a combination of bottom heat and oven cooking.

We have served it as a Tapas, as an amuse bouche, with flaked parmesan, with fish, with steak, with pork………………..

The only decision making you need is how caramelised you want to make it.  On one occasion we left it, as we thought, too long, and if anything it was better still …………….. this is just a dish that keeps on giving!!!

 

Try your own twist on how you serve it, but remember to share your best ideas with us here!

 

original post with recipe here

 

 

 

Fried liver duo with black olives

Fried liver duo with black olives

Having been pleased at the outcome of our fried and grilled calves liver recipe, I wanted to go back and try the more conventional approach.  We had reverted to grilling the meat after initial frying as the temperature of our plancha/pan had really not been hot enough when we added the liver. The situation had been made worse because (more…)

Another seasonal special – fried Mazze di Tamburo (Parasol mushrooms)

Another seasonal special – fried Mazze di Tamburo (Parasol mushrooms)

When we were in Italy we were very fortunate to be given some Mazze di Tamburo (Parasol mushrooms).  These were found in the local chestnut groves and although we had seen them growing, our knowledge of wild mushrooms is such that unless we are with someone who clearly knows what they are doing – we leave them well alone!  We can buy our fungi in the local vegetable shop (these will almost always have been found by local people who actually know that what they are picking is safe!).  These however were a gift from someone we trusted and this made them all the better! (more…)

Pork and Chestnut Autumn Terrine

Pork and Chestnut Autumn Terrine

We were in holiday in Tuscany in the late summer and early autumn in 2019.  This is later in the year than we had normally gone and it certainly felt different.  Gone was the searing summer heat and in this agricultural part of Italy everything was gearing to harvest time: grapes, olives, mushrooms and chestnuts!

We were in a region with lots of chestnut trees (more…)

Fried and grilled calves liver with black olives

Fried and grilled calves liver with black olives

This is a liver dish that you may well enjoy even if you don’t like liver!  Better still it is one of those perfect dishes that comes about when something didn’t go according to plan in the cooking.  Here it was the ‘rescue’ that made the dish – and it is now a fixed part of the way we cook calves liver on the Big Green Egg.  As someone who likes liver in various forms I find it just a little strange that there are as many people who don’t like it as there are those of us who do.  And rather like with marmite, people don’t sit on the fences, but polarise into one camp or the other!  Don’t stop reading now though, this may just be the dish that wins you over if you are a doubter! (more…)

Grilled Peppers with chickpeas, tomatoes black olives and hot spicy yoghurt

Grilled Peppers with chickpeas, tomatoes black olives and hot spicy yoghurt

We have been playing around with a few meat free dishes, such as our slow roasted caramelised fennel dish and our roasted cauliflower with truffle oil and toasted flax seeds.  But although we like vegetarian food our experience is limited.  Finding the book “Charred” by Genevieve Taylor seemed like a great opportunity (more…)

The Big Green Egg – Does Sea Bass and Bream Again!

The Big Green Egg – Does Sea Bass and Bream Again!

It is 2 years now since we did the Sea Bream and Sea Bass cook when on holiday in Italy.  I remember it as a delightful evening as we sat out overlooking the local valley with a herby smoky aroma wafting towards us as we had an early evening Prosecco! So when we were back in Tuscany it seemed a perfect opportunity to (more…)

Rosemary infused roasted chicken supreme

Rosemary infused roasted chicken supreme

It was lovely to be able to roast 2 beautiful slow grown chicken breasts – butchered as supremes, with the first part of the wing bone and the skin included.  Even better when roasted on a bed of rosemary with just a hint of wood smoke! (more…)

La Scottiglia revisited – how close had we got in recreating this dish?

La Scottiglia revisited – how close had we got in recreating this dish?

We were very lucky to be able to go back to the restaurant La Scottiglia in Pescina near Seggiano in Tuscany.  Last year, 2018, we wrote about the wonderful dish La Scottiglia that the restaurant has been named after since 1972.  This year we arrived early for a Saturday lunch and were welcomed like long lost friends by the owner.  He immediately started to talk about the recipe and blog we had written last year when we had tried to recreate La Scottiglia (see here).  He offered his congratulations for our efforts and his apologies for not writing something on the website as it would have been difficult to do so in English!

We were shown down to the terrace so we could eat outside in the dappled early autumn sunshine and were  immediately met with a Prosecco aperitif, clearly we were going to have a good lunch!

The menus were newly printed and now carried English translations which was nice.  More staggering was that on the back page was a new description of the history of the restaurant.  We were pleased that the information that we had managed to piece together from the internet seemed to be largely correct – if only it has been present before it would have saved us hours of searching (but then, where is the fun in that!!).

Jackie ordered  a Tuscan Pâté, and then ricotta filled Tortellini with truffles.  For a main course I had the wild boar – but for my starter there could only be one choice – La Scottiglia.  It was with a degree of ‘bated breath’ I tried it – had we got close with our recipe or had I deluded myself?  I needn’t have worried  (too much)!!  Our interpretation was close, though not  identical!  This was ‘softer’ with a little more liquid.  I think there was just a slight hint of chilli which ours did not have and probably a little less tomato.   Also the bread at the bottom of the dish was thinner – and had soaked up less of the glorious juices. So overall a slightly more ‘gentle’ taste than ours – but I think we can be pleased  as we have only been making it for a year rather than for more than a century!  I think we can be reasonably comfortable that ours was a suitable ‘homage’ to this most regional of dishes!

And our plans for this autumn     ……………….. to get closer still!!

Herring fillets sautéed in butter

Herring fillets sautéed in butter

Whilst it is often great fun cooking complex meals, there are times when very simple food just can’t be beaten.  I think this is one of those recipes.  Sautéed herring fillets!  We were doing some non food shopping in our local supermarket and the fish counter was closing.  They had 2 fresh herring which they were pricing up at half price so that was just £1 per fish.  The fish were actually very fresh, with bright eyes and red gills always a good sign!  Simply too good to miss.

Herring used to be a staple food of the North East coast of England, but overfishing led to their decline .  For a while there was a moratorium on fishing for them in the 1970s.  Through good stewardship they are at times becoming plentiful again as a sustainable resource.  They are also the basic ingredient of that world class product, the ‘Craster Kipper’, but that is a story for another day!

Herring is a very easy fish to prepare.  After gutting and washing, the head, fins and the tail are cut off, this can be done with a pair of kitchen scissors.  The belly of the fish is placed onto the work surface, opening up the body cavity so that it supports the fish.  Then simply press down hard on the back of the fish where the dorsal fin was and flatten out.  Then turn the flattened fish over, grab hold of the loosened back bone and pull it out gently.  With it comes the majority of the fish bones. Trim round the 2 fillets and divide them with a single cut down the centre of the back forming 2 individual trimmed fillets.  Now that is the preparation completed and all that is left it to sauté the individual fillets.  There are hundreds of things one could add to the fillets at this stage, but I would suggest that at least once you try them simply cooked in oil and butter as we have here.  Herring also works really well on the EGG as it keeps all those fish cooking smells, that are not universally loved, out of the house!

Set up the Big Green Egg for direct cooking and heat a handleless, heavy bottomed pan.  Add some olive or rapeseed oil and when this is hot drop in a knob of butter.  This will immediately foam if the pan is hot enough.  Let the foam die down, and then add the herring fillets, skin side down, one at a time.  As the skin hits the hot pan there is a natural tendency for the fillets to curl. just press them down with your fingers or a wooden spoon until they relax to prevent this. Leave them untouched in the pan until the skin is a nutty brown (3-4 mins) and then flip them over for a further minute or so until the flesh is coloured.

Remove from the pan and serve 2 filets per person on a bed of rocket leaves.  Pour over a little of the cooking juices and serve with a squeeze of lemon.  I think this makes a great supper dish or a light lunch.  Best of all though I think it makes a good alternative to those wonderful Craster Kippers for breakfast, especially when that glorious taste of kippers is not loved by all the members of the household!!

This dish worked out at about £1.00 a serving, and even at full price it would have only been £2.00.

…………………………….. give them a go!!

Herring fillets sautéed in butter

September 17, 2019
: 2
: 10 min
: 10 min
: 20 min
: Easy

Fresh herring fillets sautéed in butter

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 herring fillets
  • Olive or Rapeseed oil
  • Butter
  • Lemon Juice
Directions
  • Step 1 Set up the Big Green Egg for direct cooking and heat a handleless, heavy bottomed pan.
  • Step 2 Add olive or rapeseed oil to the pan and when this is hot add a knob of butter.
  • Step 3 Once the butter has stopped foaming add the herring fillets, skin side down, one at a time. Press each fillet to the pan until the fish relaxes and then leave untouched until the skin is a nutty brown (3-4 mins).
  • Step 4 Flip the fillets over to colour the other side for a further minute or so.
  • Step 5 Remove from the pan and serve 2 filets per person on a bed of rocket leaves. Pour over a little of the cooking juices and serve with a squeeze of lemon.