Bresaola, Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

In a ‘gotta try something new’ state of mind I was browsing the virtual shelves of our online supermarket when I stumbled across something called bresaola. What a find!

If you haven’t done so yet, you should try it (make this recipe). ¬†If you have…damn you for keeping it a secret from me! ūüėČ

BresaolaHow would I describe it? ¬†Well, it’s air dried, salt beef, served sliced very, veeerry thinly and usually quite simply dressed. ¬†At the risk of bringing the wrath of real foodies upon my head for my failure to note all the subtleties, I’d say it’s kinda like a delicious beef version of Parma ham.

Isn’t that colour something special?

PearsThese beautifully ripe, russet skinned Taylor’s Gold pears seemed like a perfect partner for the cured beef.

GorgonzolaAnd to top things off, runny, ripe Gorgonzola providing a delicious, tangy contrast to the sweet pears and the salty beef.

Bresaola, gorgonzola and pear saladPour over a honey mustard & lemon dressing and it all comes together beautifully ūüôā

10-12 slices bresaola
2 ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced (skin on)
100-150g gorgonzola (or other blue cheese), cut into chunks/crumbled
1 lemon, juice only
A glug of olive oil
A small knob of butter
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Watercress or other edible greenery
A handful of mixed cherry tomatoes

Toss pear slices in a tablespoon or so of the lemon juice.

Cooked pearsHeat oil and butter in a frying pan and cook pear over a medium to high heat, until edges are turning brown.  Remove from pan and set to one side.

Dressing ingredientsMake dressing by mixing together remaining lemon juice, mustard and honey until well combined.  Season to taste.

Bresaola, pear and gorgonzola saladArrange watercress, tomatoes and bresaola on plate, scatter over cheese, top with pears and drizzle over dressing.


Honey Mustard Glazed Sausage Pinwheels

The original point of messing around with sausages was to try out a gluten free sausage I’d not had before, and to come up with some ideas for Mum’s birthday BBQ/hog roast menu.

Gluten free sausagesThe trying out of the sausages went very well Рthey were delicious, good quality pork with well balanced seasoning.  Highly recommended if you live in the UK and can get hold of them.

I can’t say for certain whether it was the brand¬†or the¬†cooking method, but the mouth-feel of these sausages was much better than the coarsely ground meat texture I’ve come to associate with g/f sausages; I’d need to try them simply grilled to make a fairer¬†comparison with others I’ve sampled.

Regardless, they were perfect for this dish.

Cider, honey and mustardThe glaze, made of cider, mustard and honey, couldn’t really fail to be amazing…let’s face it, that’s some kind of holy trinity of flavours there, isn’t it?! ¬†The sticky goodness was the perfect foil for the pork sausage – truly delicious.

However, in terms of whether it’s suitable for Mum’s BBQ, I’m not sure. ¬†Without doubt, she and her guests would love these sausages, but I’m not sure how to pull it together without a frying pan and stove. ¬†Any suggestions or guidance would be welcomed and gratefully received ūüôā

Assuming you’re going to cook these using indoor facilities, I can confidently show you how:

To serve two

10-12 ¬†linked gluten free chipolata sausages, divided into 2 ‘chains’ (or gluten containing ones, as suits you)
A little olive oil
Approx. 250ml dry cider
3-4 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
4-5 dessert spoons runny honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Humming happily?  Hands clean?  Excellent!

Whisked cider, honey and mustardWhisk the cider, mustard, honey and seasoning together until the honey has completely blended with the cider.  Set to one side.

Sausages - linkedIf you don’t fancy messing around making pinwheels, just cut your sausage links into individuals and skip on to the frying pan stage.

sausage - untwistedStill with me? ¬†Want pretty sausage spirals? ¬†Fab! ¬†Let’s do it…

First, gently untwist the sausage casing all along each link.

Sausage - twisted endNow¬†you need to seal up the cut ends of the sausage links, otherwise you’ll be losing your filling at the next step. ¬†Simply pinch about 2cm of sausage meat out of the¬†ends of each¬†link and twist the casing¬†tightly.

Sausage - starting to mergeNow start gently¬†smooshing and smoothing¬†the sausage meat along the casing. ¬†You can be firm, but not rough – you don’t want to tear the casing. ¬†You might feel a little pervy doing this part ūüėÄ

Sausage - giantKeep pressing and rolling until you have one gigantic, skinny sausage.

Ignore the fact that when laid out like this it looks¬†like someone’s innards. ¬†I said¬†ignore¬†that!

Sausage - curled and pinnedWrap each sausage into a spiral and secure with wooden toothpicks or skewers.

Sausage - brownedHeat a tiny amount of oil in a frying pan, over a medium heat.  Cook sausages for 14-18 minutes, flipping occasionally to ensure both sides are lovely and brown.

TIP: ¬†make sure your pinwheels are flat before skewering them, otherwise it’s really hard to get them evenly coloured. ūüėČ

Sausage - in cider, honey, mustard liquidTurn up heat a little and pour cider mix over the sausages.

Sausage - in cider, honey, mustard reducedSimmer for 10-15 minutes, regularly basting and flipping sausages, until liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze.

Honey Mustard Glazed Sausage PinwheelsShown here served with triple baked potatoes, green salad and grilled cherry tomatoes.  It would be equally good with a zingy, yoghurt dressed, crunchy coleslaw and potato wedges.

Do you fancy a BBQ now? ūüėČ

Sunday Brunch: Pastrami Hash Patties and Fried Egg, followed by Honey Baked Figs with Orange Yoghurt

Over the past few weeks you may have noticed a failure to mention Petit Man in blog posts; fear not, he’s not buried under the patio – he’s moved in with Mme. E.

This weekend he was back for¬†fridge raiding a visit so once again I had my kitchen buddy with me for the making of Sunday brunch – cue much happiness! ¬†Not only does he have all the skills necessary to pull off a successful Cupboard Challenge (proud Momma taught him how), but, perhaps more importantly, his egg frying prowess was an invaluable asset in the making of this meal ūüėČ

Ah, yes…now is probably a good time for me to apologise for the gappy photo narrative of this post…I was enjoying Petit Man’s company so much I forgot to take pictures at several stages of the food preparation. ¬†Sorry if it’s not clear what’s going on!

Serves three (makes six good sized patties)

Hash Patty Ingredients
3 medium sized potatoes, coarsely grated
1 medium onion, coarsely grated
200g pastrami
7 eggs (one for the patty mix, the remainder for frying and topping patties)
A handful of fresh, chopped chives
Approx. 3 tablespoons single cream
1 teaspoon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oil for shallow frying

Honey Baked Figs Ingredients
6 fresh ripe figs
1 teaspoon(ish) ground cinnamon
4-6 tablespoons honey
1 small tub natural Greek style yoghurt
Finely grated zest of half an orange

All set? Let’s kick off Day 3 of the Cupboard Challenge

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200¬įC/400¬įF

Squeeze as much water as possible from the grated potato by rolling it up in a clean tea towel, then wringing it out.

Grated potato and onionPut squeezed potato into a bowl with the grated onion, salt and pepper.

Pastrami, before it was stripped
Pastrami, before it was stripped

Slice pastrami into thin strips and add to the potato and onion mix.

Add one beaten egg, the cream, the chives and the mustard; mix everything together really well.

Heat oil in frying pan over a medium heat and spoon in dollops of the mix.  Use the back of the spoon to push the dollops into patty shapes.

Flip them once, making sure both sides are beautifully crispy and brown.  They might lose their shape and structure a little when you turn them Рjust push them back together with your spoon.

If you have a second frying pan, fry up the eggs while the second side of the patties are browning. ¬†If you don’t, pop the patties into the oven to keep warm while you take care of the eggs.

Pastrami Hash Patties with Fried Egg and Onion MarmaladeLay one fried egg onto each patty (keep those yolks runny!) and serve with the condiment of your choice.  I had caramelised onion marmalade, Petit Man went with HP and Barn just had lots of black pepper.

Blond Witch BeerPetit Man and I decided to have this locally brewed ale with ours. I’m no beer aficionado but it was pretty good – crisp and fresh, with none of the horrid after taste I often get with beers. Barn had some kind of hyper-powered fruit juice blend – it was dark red and looked smugly vitamin packed next to the beer ūüėČ

Figs sprinkled with cinnamonJust before you serve the hash patties, cut the figs in half, set them on an oven proof dish, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with honey and bang in the preheated oven.

Greek style yoghurtMix orange zest with yoghurt and leave to infuse.

Go and eat your patties and eggs.

Baked figs with orange yoghurt
About 15-20 minutes later, you will have finished your pastrami and eggs, and your figs will be perfectly baked.

Serve with the orange yoghurt; drizzle with the juices from the baking dish.

This was very close to our idea of perfection for Sunday brunch.

How about you, what makes your perfect lazy day fare?