Hello you sweet old world. Apologies for the recent blackout. New posts are expected in the not too distant future.
Meanwhile, here are the soundtracks from all 12 episodes of Season 2:
You might be making this for one, as I did, but you may as well make enough of the lentils for four servings and refrigerate or freeze what you don't use immediately.
I fell in love with Jules & Sharpie's Hot Pepper Jelly a while back, but recently bought a jar of the equally delicious Chilli Yellow Pepper Jelly from Stokes and it was the latter I used here. If you're using another make of jelly, add just one tablespoon at first then more as needed - yours might be hotter.
for the lentils (makes 4 servings):
200g puy lentils
½ onion, finely diced
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 small stick celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 chorizo sausage (approx. 60g), skin removed, diced
100ml red wine
2 tbsps hot pepper jelly (see note above)
juice of half a lemon
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
for the trout:
1 trout fillet
salt + black pepper
a splash of olive oil
a handful of tiny croutons
Put the lentils in a pan with plenty of water, bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain.
You can make the croutons while the lentils are simmering: coat a handful of diced bread with oil in a small roasting tray and place in a 200C/180C fan oven for about 5 minutes.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add the onion, carrot and celery. Fry until softened, turn up the heat and add the garlic and chorizo. Fry, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it bubble away until reduced to a few spoonfuls. Add the hot pepper jelly and let it melt. Add the lentils and lemon juice and season with salt. Stir in the parsley, drizzle with more olive oil and set aside.
Heat a frying pan to fairly high. Add a good splash of oil and place the fish skin-side down, holding it down with a spatula so it doesn't arch up as the skin shrinks. Turn the fillet over after about 4 minutes and fry for one minute. Squeeze over the juice from the other lemon half and serve with a dollop of the lentils and a scattering of croutons.
Heap high the groaning platter with pink fillets, suckling pig and thick gammon, celestial chef. Be generous with the crackling. Let your hand slip with the gravy trough, dispensing plenty. - George Mann MacBeth
Gravy: surely one of the most memory-laden words in the English language; the nectar of the North. If someone says to you 'would you like sauce with that?' you'll answer 'what kind of sauce?'. But if someone asks ''would you like gravy with that' the only sane retort is 'too right, sunshine. Hi ye hence with a jug of said meaty essences forthwith.'.
Absent the sticky reductions of veal stock available to the professional chef, I'd guess most of us make gravy at home only when we've done a Sunday roast, availing ourselves of the juices and sticky bits in the roasting tray.
I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage. - Erma Bombeck
But what about during the week? What about if you're on your tod and can't be arsed making a roast? Well, here's a quick and delicious gravy for just such an occasion. For this particular one, I've used apple juice, because that's what was in the fridge, and also because I was serving it with a pork chop. But you can just as well use red or white wine, or cider. You could use madeira or marsala, but then I'd leave out the redcurrant jelly.
The only stock I tend make at home is chicken - great for soups, stews, risottos etc., but no good here. So I buy one of those vac-pacs of beef stock from the supermarket (£1.40 for 500 ml), use 125ml, and freeze the other three portions for later use.
a slice of butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
60 ml apple juice
125 ml beef stock
1 heaped tsp of dijon mustard
½ tsp redcurrant jelly
a handful of roughly torn up savoy cabbage leaves
a slice of butter
1 x pork chop, rind removed, at room temperature
½ dessert apple
salt + black pepper
In a small pan, melt a slice of butter over a low heat and gently fry the chopped shallot until it's a deep golden colour. Add the apple juice, stock, mustard and redcurrant jelly. Turn up the heat and boil until reduced by roughly a half. Strain into a bowl or jug and season with pepper; depending on the stock you're using, it may not need any salt.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and throw in the cabbage. Cook for a few minutes until softened. Rinse in cold water, drain dry and roughly chop.
Peel the apple half and slice into segments. Then griddle, or fry in a pan with a little butter, until caramelised.
All the above can, of course, be done well in advance.
When you're ready to eat, season the pork chop. Heat a frying pan to fairly high and add a splash of oil. Hold the chop fat side down in the oil for a minute or two, just to colour. Now fry for approximately 4-5 minutes each side.
While the chop is cooking, heat a pan and melt a slice of butter in it. Add the chopped cabbage, season and stir until heated through. Re-heat the gravy (I put the jug in the microwave on high for 1 minute).
Arrange the chop, cabbage and apple on a plate and serve with the jug of gravy on the side.
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