Monday, April 13, 2009

Freezer filling

When I'm not busy cooking for dinner parties, making wholesale desserts for restaurants or preparing corporate buffets, I also cook meals for the freezer.
I have one regular client who likes to take frozen meals in large containers and frozen canapes to her holiday home in Cornwall so she can feed all the extended family of 12 (children and grandchildren) without spending all day in the kitchen - after all everyone needs a holiday from cooking.

Another local family ordered a month's worth of meals when they were having their kitchen re-built. With just a microwave to cook with in their utility room for a month - they found my home-cooked meals with meat from the farm just 4 miles away from them a godsend - so much so they reccommended me to all their local friends, and the fish pie they liked so much I cooked for 50 of their guests when they entertained just before new year.

These particular meals were for another regular client who has the family to stay in the Cotswolds during the major holiday periods - Christmas, Easter, Whit week etc., and again it saves spending all the time in the kitchen when you can spend it with the family instead.

Cottage pie


Preparation as seen in the shepherds pie post, just using minced beef from Home Farm instead of minced lamb.










Chicken Chasseur

This time using free range chickens from Madgetts Farm.
A traditional chasseur with onions, mushrooms, tomato, white wine and fresh tarragon. Sauce preparation is similar to the coq au vin - once the chicken has been taken off the bones, the bones are used to make a stock which is then reduced and added to the sauce after cooking, so you have an intense chicken flavour.

A few cherry tomatoes are placed on top of the sauce so they soften and burst as the meal is reheated.


Slow cooked shoulder of lamb with tabboulehAs seen in a previous post the shoulder of lamb is cooked for 6 hours will it's soft and delicious. Once chilled it can be sliced as above.

The canelle carrots and onions that were cooked with it are added on top with fresh rosemary from the garden and the sauce.

Taste the tabbouleh and you're almost back on Edgeware Road.


Tabbouleh - the ideal accompaniment to lamb

Lamb shoulder cooked whole

Salmon provençal

Like the gravadlax, this is marinated too - but only overnight, and in a classic tomato sauce, after which it is baked.

With this is provençal style vegetables made to an old family recipe. My grandparents who lived locally when I was young had a large vegetable garden, so we were pretty self sufficient harvesting in the summer months, blanching and cooking like mad and then freezing so there would be vegetables and fruit throughout the winter months. The provençal vegetables were always one of my favourites on it's own with freshly made bread, or as an accompaniment to fish, rabbit or chicken.











Fillet of hake with homemade beer baked beans and ale sauce


There's more on the sauce here, and the beans here. I think it's a winning combination.







Fish pie

Another family recipe - originally from my maternal grandmother who's been making it for 70 years or more, but which I have, again, improved a little bit. I did give away the recipe once to a group on a hen weekend after they raved about it so much, but that's as far as it goes at the moment.
Cod, salmon, king prawns. oven dried tomatoes, egg and parsley. Grain mustard and Gorsehill Abbey Farm St. Kennelm cheese potato puree is piped on top.


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These were taken from our bistro menu, but as they are made to order it means I can make whatever anyone asks for, and can account for any allergies or preferences. They can be made at a clients house using their own dishes, or most often I make them at my premises fitting them in between everything else and then deliver them at a suitable time.

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