Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Onion gravy - good for sausages!

I am sitting watching a bit of Masterchef: The Professionals and feeling in a rather foody mood! That is despite the rather annoying judge Gregg Wallace who I am not convinced knows anything about food. His favourite comments are "That is full of flavour", "I really like that" or as a default, to just copy whatever Michel Roux Jr has just said but in a slightly different order. If you are going to be a food judge, at least come up with a bit more substantial vocabulary. As a food blogger, who no-one really reads, I have an excuse to be repetitive. But not on television, please!

On the subject of Roux, I am also slightly jealous of my parents-in-law who went for a fancy meal at Le Gavroche this week (which is run by Michel Roux Jr).

Anyway, I thought that it was about time I wrote up some nice onion gravy I recently made. It is from Nigel Slater's Real Food book which I really like. It is not a new book (first published in 1998 I think), but, as the title indicates, is about real, good, simple and tasty food. I would say that most of the stuff in there is comfort food and the book itself is divided up into straightforward chapters:
  • Potatoes
  • Chicken
  • Garlic
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Ice-cream 
  • Chocolate
This onion gravy comes from the sausage chapter and really needs to go with a big, fat, slow roasted sausage which, as Slater puts it, should be "sticky outside and juicy within" with "tight, glossy and deep golden brown skin".

I modified his recipe slightly but stuck to the general idea, swapping Madeira wine for a bit of white wine as we had some open already, and one of the onions for  a leek.

  • 75 g butter
  • Large onion
  • Tablespoon flour
  • 75 ml white wine
  • 250 ml vegetable stock
  • Worcestershire sauce (a generous splash)
Melt the butter in a heavy pan and then fry the onions gently till they go light brown and soft, then put on a lid and carry on cooking until the onions are a darker brown.

Add in the flour and brown it. Poor in the stock and wine, then season and add the Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer for quarter of an hour. Serve with sausages.

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Back to it!

Once upon a time I did used to write on this blog and (I hope) a few people used to read it too. For any of those who did read it and who are wondering what has happened, well the cake picture below is a bit of a clue (although that only explains the last year and not the one before's absence).

So, the main reason is down to a lack of time. I got a new job, had to commute a lot further and ran out of time for cooking and writing about it. I was still cooking, but not writing! Then our beautiful daughter arrived a year ago and there most certainly wasn't any free time (that's not a complaint at all, just a happy fact). 

Now, a year on, our little one has turned one. My wife's maternity leave has sadly ended and she is going back to work tomorrow. I am very fortunate though in that I am going to be working just two days a week (at home thanks boss) and spending the rest of the time as a "stay at home dad"/house husband! So although I do feel very sad and slightly guilty that my wife has to go back to work, we have both agreed that for financial, practical and emotional reasons, it's the best thing. We ruled nursery out early on as we both think that if you have children, it's not right (in our view) to give them to someone else to bring up. That and we would also never see our daughter!

Enough history and family information - how about some food? Here is the fabulous cake my wife prepared for the first birthday party! Camilla's room is themed around The Very Hungry Caterpillar and so it was only right that the cake followed the same theme. With some help from a recent training course done at (amazing prices and clearly the courses deliver) and a lot of creativity and flair, this lovely cake was the result:

I am not quite sure how the cake was made, apart from that there was lots of fondant icing, gum balls round the edge and a sponge cake in the middle. It was delicious though and went very quickly.

The blog will be updated a bit more frequently now that I'm going to be spending lots of time at home. There will almost certainly be some baby food, purees and such like, but also some of the things that I've been trying out in the kitchen too. I hope that you will continue reading!

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