Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Italian Pears in red wine

 I saw this on one of Poh's shows, where Antonio Carluccio was assisting her.  What a great recipe, and so simple.  Essentially you just baked the pears on their own for 40 minutes, then sprinkle with sugar, add the red wine and lemon peel and bake for another 30 minutes - and done!  This will become a family staple.

Pears in Red Wine (Pere al Vino Rosso)

Pears in Red Wine

Antonio Carluccio's Simple Cooking © Antonio Carluccio 2009

Rating: easy to moderate


  • 6 ripe Williams pears
  • 400ml red wine
  • Rind of 1 lemon, pealed in pieces
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Whipped double cream, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Wash and put the pears upright in a suitably sized ovenproof container. You want them to fit snugly, without too much space between them.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Remove the pears from the oven and pour over the wine.
  5. Sprinkle over the lemon rind and most of the sugar, reserving a small amount to spoon on top of the pears. Bake for another 20 minutes, by which time the wine will have reduced and thickened in consistency.
  6. Put the pears in a glass bowl, cover with the red wine syrup and chill.
  7. Divide between six plates, and serve with the syrup and some whipped double cream, if desired.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A quick satay sauce

Here is the quickest satay sauce in town, great for topping chicken to make it special.  All the ingredients you are likely to have on hand.  Although it is not the authentic Thai satay sauce, it is close enough for me!

I use crunchy peanut butter, but you can use cashew butter or almond butter as a substitute.  Note that the "cup" measurements are flexible, see what suites your taste, you may like more hoisin!  Also, you may want to chop some coriander or shallots and put that in too.  Its a very flexible recipe.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

1 jar of cucumbers

I've gone pickle mad!  Here are two recipes for cucumbers when they are in abundance.  Seriously I think that my cucumber plants are in conspiracy.  I go out in the morning and the cucumbers are less than the length of my little finger, next day - enormous!  To use them up I keep my cucumber jars over winter and fill them up over summer.  These are refrigerator pickles, meaning they need to be kept in the fridge until used up.  - so don't make too many!
Bread and butter cucumbers is a simple and delicious recipe, you can make sliced cucumbers or spears, or if you have lots of tiny ones, leave them whole.  The fermented cucumber recipe is from my mother in law  (as remembered by Val!).  It originally comes from Ukraine. I now grow my own horseradish just for the leaves! 
Fermented food is very good for you, but MUST be eaten fairly quickly.  Unlike the bread and butter cucumbers, these will not keep for long as they contain garlic.  If garlic is not handled correctly it can cause botulism, not something anyone wants.  So, make them, leave them on the shelf for 2 days, open them and put them in the fridge, eat over the next 2 weeks.  Any longer and I would throw them out.  (or leave out the garlic!).  For a great article on these cucumbers read the interesting blog post here by