Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

My first post for the site is over on Total Food Geeks peoples!

… some more wild garlic recipes to follow here in a few days!


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Peri Peri Ostrich


Snow snow snow snow snow! I know most people wont agree and I’ll probably be slightly less exuberant after I’ve tried to get to work in it tomorrow, but until then… I’m making snow angels! Sorry I had to get that out of the way first.

So you are probably frowning at the title of this post. It’s what I’m calling the ostrich prego rolls I made for dinner last night and also the recipe I’m entering into In the Bag November 2010. For the unfamiliar, this is a regular recipe competition run by the authors of The Real Epicurean and A Slice of Cherry Pie and this month’s “bag” is game. I know Ostrich isn’t the most obvious choice but since it’s South African and it’s a game bird, I thought it would do nicely for my first entry to this competition.

And before I get in trouble for choosing ingredients from the other side of the planet I should point out that depending on where you live, you can get ostrich meat in England and Scotland fairly easily now and even our local farmer’s market has ostrich on offer (I do feel a little sorry for the ostriches given the current weather though, hope someone gives them a jumper).

The peri peri part of the dish is Portuguese, which is also South African to me. I realise that will sound odd to some but without recounting a history of South Africa,  we have a big Portuguese influence and we like our peri peri. Case in point – Nandos. If you don’t know what Nandos is, google it. You are missing out.

Anyway, back to the point. A prego roll is a very simple dish of thin steak marinated in chillies, wine and garlic and served in a chewy Portuguese roll. It’s not a fancy dish with lots of frills but the simplicity is partly what makes it so good and the steak is the star of the show. I normally make prego rolls with beef but the rich gamey flavour of ostrich is perfect with the chilli and garlic. The warmth of the marinade also leaves you with a nice after glow which is perfect if you plan on going out to play in the snow afterwards.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe. Oh and happy sledging!!

Peri Peri Ostrich Prego Rolls

Serves 2.

  • 2 ostrich steaks
  • 1-2 chillies chopped (depending on the strength of the chillies and your preference)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • sprig of rosemary
  • half a cup of white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for frying
  • 2 Portuguese or Ciabatta rolls

If you have very thick ostrich steaks place them between two pieces of cling film and flatten slightly with a rolling pin. Put the garlic, chilli and rosemary in a shallow dish with the wine, cover and marinate the steaks for at least a couple of hours in the fridge.

Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the steaks for a few minutes each side until cooked to your liking. Take out of the pan and leave to rest. Pour the marinade into the pan and fry until it reduces slightly. Place each steak in a roll and pour over some of the marinade.

Enjoy and spare a thought for a chilly ostrich! ♥

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There’s no such thing as too much garlic. Many people will disagree with that statement but tough, I’m writing this blog not you. I would put garlic in my coffee given half a chance. So imagine how excited I was when I found an entire farm shop dedicated solely to this pungent little vegetable.

While we were on the Isle of Wight we spent a day driving around the island and since I have a homing beacon for anything food or wine related, I made a bee line for the local vineyards and farm shops…which is how we discovered the Garlic farm.

Tucked away on a quiet farm road, you are greeted by a cosy log cabin building with great big baskets of garlic in the doorway wafting their sulphoury sweet fumes into the air. Rows and rows of garlic chutneys, pickles, sauces, marinades, drizzles,  and even garlic beer (yes I also thought that was a step too far at first but as I said, no such thing as too much garlic). Just to the left of this alliophile paradise is another even more comfortable looking room with a log fire in the corner, flagstone floors softened with a Persian rug, and slate specials boards dangling tantalisingly from the ceiling advertising the day’s tummy pleasers. Outside is a sheltered terrace where you can eat (weather permitting) with a view of the lawn and the slightly mismatched family of resident peacocks and guinea fowl going about their daily wanderings.

The farm is owned by the Boswell family who’s love affair with garlic has lasted more than 30 years and has resulted, luckily for me and other garlic lovers, in a successful farm shop and licensed cafe. I know most people reading this wont be able to just nip down to the Isle of Wight for a nose around so the good news is there’s an online shop as well which sells a selection of the afore mentioned plethora of garlic produce.

If you do land up in their neck of the woods though I would seriously recommend lunch in the cafe. The head chef, Charlie Bartlett, must know what he’s doing because I had such a scrumptious lunch that I came back for a second one before we left. On our first visit the sun was out so we sat on the terrace and munched our way through a plate of crispy fried whitebait with home made tartare sauce and malted bloomer bread door stopper and the most delicious and tender steak sandwich I have ever tasted. For round two, I had the trout and spring onion pot with garlic croutons, side salad and a balsamic dressing and Ross had the beef stew with dumplings, no disappointments there. Delicious.

Having been let loose in the shop I came home with a bag full of loot, including the garlic farm cookbook and a bundle of smoked garlic, so the first thing I did when I was back in my own kitchen was cook something. The weather here was pretty miserable (a common theme you will have noticed) so I chose a roasted garlic soup recipe with potatoes and leeks but instead of the elephant garlic it called for I decided to try the smoked garlic bulbs so that they would be the star of the show. Despite the eye watering aroma coming from the brown paper bag they were stored in, the smoked cloves are very mellow and sweet so I chopped and added a few extra cloves near the end as well as roasting the whole bulbs in the oven for a proper garlic bite.

You can adjust the amount and type of garlic in this recipe to suit your own tastes as long as you remember the following rule. The finer you chop the garlic and the less time you cook it the stronger the flavour will be. If you keep the cloves whole and roast them they will be much gentler with a more caramelised flavour.

Pumpkins aside, you couldn’t get a more appropriate recipe for Halloween than this and you can be safe in the knowledge that no vampires (or co-workers, family and friends for that matter) will come near you with a bowl of this in your tummy.

Happy Halloween!

Smoked Garlic Soup with Parmesan and Sage Toasties

Adapted from the Garlic Farm Cookbook. Serves 4-6.

  • 2 bulbs of smoked garlic plus a few extra cloves (if you are using un-smoked garlic you may not need the extra cloves)
  • olive oil
  • 4 leeks, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 slices  white bread person
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan per person
  • few sage leaves

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cut the top off the garlic bulbs so that the flesh is exposed, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in tin foil. Roast for 1 hour until soft and golden.

Squeeze the flesh from each clove into a pan and add the onion, celery leeks and potatoes and a dash more olive oil. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced by half. add the stock, salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Near the end, add the chopped garlic cloves. While the soup is cooking, gently fry the sage leaves in a large frying pan for a minute. Cut the crusts off the bread and make into sandwiches with the parmesan and a couple of sage leaves. Then carefully place them into the same frying pan and squash down with a spatula. Fry until golden on each side and cheese has melted.

When the soup is ready take it off the heat and blend with a hand held blender or in a food processor and then serve with the cheese toasties and garnished with the remaining sage leaves.

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