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oysters mignonette sauce great balance between salty, tangy, sweet

oysters mignonette sauce great balance between salty, tangy, sweet
1 shallot finely chopped
white wine vinegar 
vanillia balsamic vinegar


Clementines almond cake

    Serves: 8-10

approx. 13 ounces clementines (approx. 3 medium-sized ones)
6 large eggs
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2¼ cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder (see NOTE below)
Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines – skins, pith, fruit and all – and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/375ºF. Butter and line a 21cm / 8 inch Springform tin.
You can then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix. Or, you can beat the eggs by hand adding the sugar, almonds and baking powder, mixing well, then finally adding the pulped oranges.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you’ll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake’s cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it’s made, but I don’t complain about eating it at any time.
I’ve also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 250g / 2¼ cups and slightly anglicise it, too, by adding a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Pizza pasta

Pizza pasta

1/2 box penne pasta


1 pound spicy pepperoni,

chopped in 1 inch pieces 4 pints (or so) Cherry Tomatoes

2 large onions cut in 8

1 head garlic cloves, peeled and halved

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons or so dried oregano

4 ounces cream cheese

1-2 sprinkles salt and lots of freshly ground pepper

3 cups or so mozzarella cheese, shredded

Procedure Preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C).Toss pepperoni, tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and olive oil in a large bowl. Turn into a 9- X 13-inch (3.5L) ovenproof casserole or baking dish. After 30 minutes or so stir the works once or twice then keep an eye on things. Bake until the tomatoes soften and the pepperoni and onion lightly brown, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven.  Blend tomato mix in blender with cream cheese.  Cook beef until well browned.  Meanwhile cook your pasta in lots of boiling salted water. Drain it well but do not rinse or you’ll drain away the surface starch that helps the sauce cling to it. When the roast tomato sauce has ×nished cooking toss it and ground beef with the pasta and top  with the mozzarella.


Inspired by the writing and recipes of Judy Rodgers of Zuni Cafe. Adapted from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook.
Serves: 2-4
For The Roast Chicken
  • 1 chicken, 2.5 – 3 pounds
  • 4 soft tip-sprigs of thyme or rosemary, each about 1-inch long
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
For The Bread Salad
  • 8 ounces rustic bread, thick sliced
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • A few handfuls of arugula or similar greens washed and dried
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For The Bread Salad Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon dried currants
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced red onion or shallot
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup hot chicken drippings, from roast chicken
To Make The Roast Chicken
  1. A day or two before you intend to roast your chicken, sprinkle it all over with kosher salt and a little black pepper. A 3 pound bird will use about a tablespoon of kosher salt. Slide an herb sprig under the skin pocket of each breast and thigh. Tuck the wingtips behind the neck but do not truss your bird.
  2. Refrigerate chicken, lightly covered, for 24 hours to 3 days. This gives the salt an opportunity to season and tenderize the meat.
  3. An hour or so before you want to start roasting your chicken, and about two hours before you want to eat, preheat your oven to 475-degrees and bring your chicken out of the fridge so it can come to room temperature.
  4. Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes, until quite hot. Place the resting chicken, breast-side-up, in the hot skillet. It should sizzle. Transfer immediately to the hot oven. If your skillet isn’t well seasoned, and you worry about sticking, add a bit of olive oil or lard to the skillet just before you add your chicken the the skillet.
  5. Roast chicken for about 40 minutes to an hour, until fully cooked but still juicy. The skin should be beautifully golden and paper thin across the thigh, and the thigh joint should feel lose.
  6. When chicken is cooked, carefully tip the bird so the cavity is down and drain the juices from the chicken. slash the skin between thigh and breast to let out any trapped juices there. Transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Whisk the pan juices in the skillet to release any caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, then transfer juices to a small bowl and set aside for the bread salad. You should have about ¼ cup reserved juices; if you have more, save extra for another purpose.
Prepare the Salad
  1. While chicken is roasting, prepare the bread salad.
  2. For the vinaigrette, add the currants and minced red onion to a bowl. Add red and white vinegar and set aside for about ten minutes, to allow currents to plump. Then, add dijon mustard and olive oil and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Brush all bread slices liberally with olive oil and salt to taste. Place toast slices under a preheated broiler or in a dry skillet set over medium heat and toast until golden brown. Some darker and lighter spots are fine.
  4. When toasted bread is cool enough to handle, tear into rough, bite-sized hunks. Some larger and some smaller pieces are fine. Put toasted bread pieces in a large bowl.
  5. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a pan. Add the smashed garlic cloves and pine nuts and warm all over medium heat until the pine nuts are toasty but not burnt and the garlic has softened.
  6. Add garlic, pine nuts and any olive oil from the pan to the bowl with the toasted bread pieces. Set aside until you are ready to finish the salad.
  7. To finish salad, gather the bowl with the toasted bread, the vinaigrette, the reserved pan juices from the roast chicken and several handfuls of arugula.
  8. Toss the bread with the chicken juices and vinaigrette and stir to combine. You want the bread to soak up those juices, so give it a minute if needed. Add in the arugula, toss, and taste for seasoning. Adjust by adding salt, pepper or a tiny splash of red wine vinegar if needed.
  1. Serve the chicken pulled into pieces, over the bread salad. Good hot or room temperature.

xmas Tomato Tartlets

Preheat the oven to 425° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Position racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 9 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch rectangle. Using a straight edge, trim the pastry to a 9-by-17-inch rectangle. Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet and poke all over with a fork. Top with another sheet of parchment and another baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes on the middle rack, until golden. Remove the top sheet and parchment paper and bake the pastry until lightly browned and dry, about 10 minutes longer. Slide the paper and pastry onto a rack and let cool.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and 2 teaspoons of thyme and season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, cut side up, and bake on the upper rack for about 15 minutes, until softened slightly. Let cool.

xmas Roasted-Cauliflower-and-Sesame Spread

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil, ginger and coriander and season with salt. Spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots. Let cool slightly.

Step 2

Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Add the tahini and lemon juice and pulse to a chunky puree; season with salt. Add the cilantro and pulse just until incorporated. Transfer the spread to a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm with pita bread or chips.

xmas Whipped Feta with Cucumbers

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large bowl, cover the feta with water and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to temper the saltiness. Drain and coarsely crumble the feta. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Add the cream cheese, heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and process until smooth and airy. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the cucumbers with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.