The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Recipe to add zest to boiled rice, frittata and other dishes

Posted in Rice and Pasta, Sauces Gravy Dressings, Vegetarian | 2 comments

Recipe to add zest to boiled rice, frittata and other dishes

Simple boiled rice, such as good basmati, or a dish like frittata can be a joy, especially if you add a little something to lift it above the ordinary. In my wilder years, I learned to cook by trial and error after accepting a position in a Chelsea, London household even though I did not have the foggiest idea of even how to boil an egg. Nowadays I would probably be summarily fired after Day Two but this couple were exceptionally kind people. On this blog I call them Smart Wife and Kind Husband. In England, the term Smart means relatively...

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Veal Schnitzel (Wiener Schnitzel) Recipe

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 6 comments

Veal Schnitzel (Wiener Schnitzel) Recipe

“How about Wiener Schnitzel for supper tonight?” Danny looked unimpressed. Picking through the freezer I had found some small veal escalopes that I’d picked up from the Tesco *CFC a few weeks ago. One was a little smaller than my hand and the other barely reached across my palm. Wiener Schnitzel seemed the sensible option. I had never made schnitzels and was keen to have a go. Danny perked up when I mentioned that I was going to marinade the meat. “Great idea. Veal can be so tasteless.” Between you and me I like the subtle flavour of...

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The slow cooker chef: Warming winter stew with skirt of beef and baby carrots recipe

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 12 comments

The slow cooker chef: Warming winter stew with skirt of beef and baby carrots recipe

  Last year my friend Jo mentioned skirt of beef. I’d never even heard of the cut before let alone spotted it in the butchers. “If you slice it very fine, it’s wonderful in a stir fry. And even better it’s so cheap.” I’ve since discovered that it’s the traditional meat used in Cornish Pasties. Although my Cornish pal Tessa uses chuck steak. Last week I went to the market to buy some vegetables – they are always knocked down in price at the end of the day. I bought two large bunches of baby carrots for a pound – these would...

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Delicious classic British food: Best Toad-in-the-Hole recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 15 comments

Delicious classic British food: Best Toad-in-the-Hole recipe

  When the weather starts to get chilly I have a longing for a really good Toad-in-the-Hole. Not the rather chewy offering that I munched as a child but a light and puffy one. A dish that would have Danny pleading for more rather than the slightly suspicious response, “I don’t think that I’ve ever eaten Toad-in-the-Hole.” Long pause. “I’d be interested to try it.” The problem was that I didn’t have a recipe. Then I twigged that our Yorkshire Pudding recipe probably would be good. So I used Delia’s version as a guide for...

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Best quick and easy chicken breast recipe – cheat method

Posted in Chicken | 7 comments

Best quick and easy chicken breast recipe – cheat method

  Chicken breasts are so fast and simple to convert into a meal. I once had them just sliced and grilled (broiled) for a few minutes, then popped into a toasted sandwich with mustard and mayo to make a deliciously fast supper. The downside is that they are basically flavourless outside of their natural home in a Sunday Lunch whole roast chicken. The trick is to either marinade them beforehand or add ingredients to add some zest. Danny here on Thu evening, giving Fiona a break after her trip to London yesterday. I touched on this in the...

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My best easy recipe for delicious Mango Chutney

Posted in Chutney and Pickles, Jam Jelly and Preserves | 21 comments

My best easy recipe for delicious Mango Chutney

Growing up there were a handful of meals that I really liked my mum to cook. One of these was curry. Back in those days curry powder was the norm, with the remains of the Sunday roast diced into the mix. I loved the exotic colour of the sauce but it was the way that she served each plate that intrigued me. Curry on a bed of rice in the middle of the plate and around the edge of loads of little piles of things too cool the curry down. Thinly sliced banana jostled with desiccated coconut, dried fruit, sliced cucumbers, diced onion and glorious...

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Best melt in the mouth pork meatballs in a piquant tamarind, fresh ginger and honey sauce recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 10 comments

Best melt in the mouth pork meatballs in a piquant tamarind, fresh ginger and honey sauce recipe

I love meatballs. But only the melt in the mouth variety. Having sharpened my teeth on  ultra firm chewy meatballs, I decided never to attempt to make them myself. What was the point? Why push hardened walnut sized balls of meat onto anyone else? Several years ago Danny’s special brother, Donagh, gave me the secret of melt in the mouth meatballs. He had served meatballs to die for and I was desperate to get his secret. “It’s so simple. I learnt the method from the mother of my Spanish girlfriend.” He finally revealed. I was all...

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Easy, chic and cheap recipes: delicate cauliflower leaf and pecorino soup

Posted in Starters and Soups | 23 comments

Easy, chic and cheap recipes: delicate cauliflower leaf and pecorino soup

For years it has hurt me to throw away the green outer leaves of the cauliflower. I have simmered them for the chickens in the past but mainly they are added to our kitchen compost bin. Having had the tip from John Coe – that all the leaves on the sprouting broccoli plant are edible – I decided to experiment with the cauli leaves this week. I chopped up the main stalk and tore the leaves away from the fibrous stems. Then I simmered them for about twenty minutes in vegetable stock. They looked really unappetising when I lifted the lid....

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