Monday, 2 February 2009

Winter Warmers

Oh no - we've got no food in. It's ok, we can walk to the supermarket. No we can't, it might not be get the point how I was feeling this morning, after I'd been informed that there was no school today! Hurrah! I have been up since 6.30 am though in order to update the website so the parents know as well as the staff. I've watched the snow all morning and pottered in the Cabbage Patch to clear the snow so I might have a few veggies this spring / summer to cook with!

I'm into the wintery, warming dinners at the moment and last night was no exception. It was inspired by 2 pieces I'd read or watched this week - 1) Jamie cooking a shoulder of pork on t.v. the other night, and 2) a recipe from the Food Stories blog. I bought an incredibly cheap cut of British Pork (cheap because it was shoulder and everyone prefers a leg joint), scored the fat on top, rubbed in salt and olive oil, blazed in a very hot oven for 20 minutes, then put on low for several hours. It was delicious, the crackling being the best part as you can see - or not see, as I'd actually picked off most of it by the time I remembered to take this photo!

I also made Jamie's Baked Onions, (I do have other recipe books, but his are so warming for this snowy weather.) I found that the Parmesan flavour was overpowering and would use a mature cheddar next time.

The World's Best Baked Onions
Jamie's Book "Happy Days with the Naked Chef. - serves 4.

4 tennis ball sized white onions, peeled
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
4 twigs of fresh rosemary, lower leaves picked & chopped
8 tablespoons double cream
a couple of handfuls of grated Parmesan
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon rashers

Boil the onions in plenty of water for 15 minutes until slightly tender.
Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
Then, with a sharp knife, remove the top 2.5cm/1 inch of each onion, finely chop and place to one side. If need be, slightly trim the stalk end of the onions so that they will sit flat on a roasting tray.
Cut about a heaped tablespoon out from the inside of each onion, keeping the outside intact.
Finely chop and add to the rest of the chopped onion.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Heat a frying pan and add a little olive oil, your garlic, the chopped onions and just a little chopped rosemary.
Fry for a couple of minutes until softened, then turn the heat down, add the cream and remove from the heat.
Stir in the Parmesan and season. I (Jamie) like(s) to wrap a nice slice of pancetta around the middle of each onion and just spike it in place with a sharpened twig of rosemary or half a cocktail stick. The rosemary and pancetta will make the onion taste lovely as it cooks.
Place the onions on a roasting tray and spoon some of the chopped onion mixture inside each one.
Bake in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes until soft and tender, depending on the size of the onions. It's cool to experiment with different cheese, so give it a bash.

I have got food in, btw; I'd forgotten I'd bought several pieces of fish for fish pie. Will save it for something to do a little later on!


  1. I am so glad I inspired you! It looks delicious, by the way. The meat looks incredible and the onion I have to try.

  2. This look so delicious, the meat look incredibly glistening and love that you use a lot of rosemary.

  3. These onions look fantastic and perfect with a roast dinner.


Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Merlotti x

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