Monday, 22 August 2011

Courgette and cheese soup

2 tablespoons vegetable (or light olive) oil
1 large onion (or 2 shallots) chopped
1 clove garlic
3 or 4 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped into small chunks
1kg courgettes, chopped
2 litres chicken stock (see recipe)
250g hard cheese (that will melt without going grainy), grated
Salt and pepper

In a large pan, gently soften the bacon, onion and garlic, without browning them. Add the courgettes, and fry for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes (or until the courgettes are soft).
Add half of the cheese, and blend well in a liquidiser of with a wand blender. Check and adjust the seasoning, and add more cheese to taste. The cheese shouldn’t overpower the flavour of courgette.
Serve with a swirl of double cream, if you prefer.

Escalope of pork in honey mustard sauce

4 pork escalopes
A little vegetable (or light olive) oil
2 shallots, chopped finely
A splash of white wine
250ml double cream
1 tablespoon grainy honey mustard (or 1 tablespoon grainy mustard and 1 teaspoon runny honey)
Salt and pepper

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Oil and season both sides of the escalopes. Reduce the heat to medium. Place the pork in the griddle pan and fry (without moving them) on one side until you can see they are cooked halfway through. Turn them, and repeat on the other side. Remove the escalopes from the pan, wrap them in foil, and set them aside.
Gently fry the onions in the oil that remains in the pan, until they are glossy. Add a splash of wine to ‘de-glaze’ the pan. Add the cream and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low. Add 2/3 of the honey mustard. Return the pork to the pan, with any juices that have seeped out. Check the seasoning and adjust. Add a little more mustard, to taste. Baste the pork with the sauce.
Serve with mash or new potatoes, and the veg of your choice. I like finely sliced cabbage, sautéed in a little butter for 2-3 minutes.