Malteser Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

– 100g unsalted butter

– 100g plain (dark) chocolate

– 100g milk chocolate

– 100g white chocolate

– 200g milk chocolate digestives, crumbled

– 200g maltesers, divided

– 3 tbs golden syrup

Method:

1. Melt together butter, milk and plain chocolates, digestives, 150g maltesers, and golden syrup.

2. Spread mixture in 8×8 pan, lined with parchment paper and leave to cool in fridge for at least one hour.

3. Meanwhile, crush remaining maltesers with a fork

4. Melt white chocolate and drizzle over hardened mixture. Top with crushed maltesers and return to fridge to set before cutting into squares.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce (28g) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1 cup (200g) peeled roasted vacuum-packed chestnuts
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces fresh porcini or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

Step 1

In a heatproof bowl, soak the dried porcini in the boiling water until softened, 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms. Strain the liquid into a bowl through a sieve lined with a moistened paper towel. Rinse the porcini to remove any remaining grit and finely chop.

Step 2

In Staub, melt the butter. Add the chopped porcini, button mushrooms, leeks, carrot, celery and rosemary and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are browned, 15-20 minutes. Add the chestnuts and stock and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add 3 cups of the strained porcini soaking liquid and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer over moderate heat until the chestnuts are very tender, 30 minutes. Add the cream and let cool slightly. Puree in a blender (don’t overblend, otherwise will be overly frothy) in batches and keep warm.

Step 3    (Optional)

In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the sliced porcini, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, 6 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the sautéed porcini.

Bear’s Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients:

* 150g/7oz pancetta, chopped

* 1kg/2lb 2oz beef mince 10%

* 2 onions, diced

* 2 small carrots, peeled, finely chopped

* 2 celery sticks, finely chopped

* 4 garlic cloves, minced

* 2 cans (400g) of chopped tomatoes

* 1 jar (700ml) pasatta

* 150ml/5fl oz milk

* 3 tbsp tomato purée

* 175ml/6fl oz red wine

* 1 cube beef stock

* salt and black pepper

* 500g/1lb 2oz tagliatelle

* 150g/5oz parmesan

* 0.5-1 teaspoon of nutmeg

– 3 dried bay leaves

Preheat the oven to around 110c.

Cook pancetta with a bit of butter until it renders some fat, then add onions. Once onions soften, add carrots. Wait 5 minutes and then add celery and garlic. Once the celery and garlic soften add the beef mince. When this is lightly browned, add in the milk. Bring this to a boil and then simmer until most of the milk has reduced. Then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, beef cube, nutmeg, and wine. Allow this to simmer until the liquid has reduced by a quarter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add in bay leaves, cover pot, and and transfer to the oven. Cook for 4-5 hours, adding the jar of pasatta throughout (at 2 & 3 hours)

*notes: maybe less carrot, as finely chopped as possible. Also maybe less pancetta and another can or two of chopped tomatoes and more pasatta.

One Pan Lemon Chicken & Grains

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

• 800g – 1 kg chicken breasts or small thighs

• kosher salt and pepper and onion powder

• 1 lemon, sliced (ideally Meyer)

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 3-5 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 cups Farro (or 1 cup orzo)

• 1/3 cup white wine

• 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

• 150-200g kale, roughly torn

• juice of 1 lemon

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme and parsley)

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F / 200 C.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or cast iron skillet set over medium high heat. Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper, and onion powder. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

3. To the same skillet, add the butter and lemon slices. Sear the lemon until golden on each side, about 1 minute. Remove the lemon from the pan and add to the plate with the chicken.

4. To the same skillet, add the garlic and Farro. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the farro toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine to the skillet and de-glaze the pan. Add the chicken broth, kale, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir. Slide the chicken, lemon slices, and any juices left on the pan back into the skillet. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

5. Remove from oven and serve topped with fresh herbs.

Beef Stew



INGREDIENTS:

6 celery sticks, thickly sliced

2 onions, chopped

3 v. large carrots, halved lengthways then sliced into thick chunks

750g new potatoes, cut into bite size chunks 

5 bay leaves

3 sprigs thyme

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

3 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp tomato purée

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

3 beef stock cubes, crumbled

850g stewing beef (featherblade or brisket works nicely), cut into nice large chunks

Up to 500ml vegetable stock 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the kettle on. 

Heat oil and butter in a large Dutch oven and thrown in the celery, onion, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in the flour until it’s absorbed, followed by the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, and beef stock cubes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Gradually stir in 600ml hot water and half the stock, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. 

Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs, then check if more stock might be needed before cooking uncovered for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.