The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Birthday food: Gambas al pil pil recipe revisted

Posted in Fish and Seafood | 10 comments

Birthday food: Gambas al pil pil recipe revisted

It’s Danny’s birthday. “What would you like to eat this evening?” “Well, I don’t know really.” “How about Diana Henry’s Spiced Chicken breasts on melting onions with preserved lemon? They’re delicious Even Bunty asked for the recipe.” “They sound great but I don’t remember them.” But I couldn’t find the chicken breasts in the freezer. “How about a takeaway from Arif?” D’s eyes lit up. This Indian restaurant is very good since they...

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Piquant pot roast chicken with chilli, garlic and thyme recipe

Posted in Chicken | 4 comments

Piquant pot roast chicken with chilli, garlic and thyme recipe

If you write about food a lot it is easy to keep on trying to develop new recipes rather than improve on old favourites. So last week I thought that I’d play with Emma’s garlic roast chicken recipe. This wonderful pot roast recipe produces a succulent, browned chicken with an excellent sauce. Perfect as a roast and the leftovers are suculent and full of flavour. I bought a ‘small’ (1.75 kilos) chicken from Fred Fitzpatrick (our favourite butcher – Exning Road, Newmarket). His chickens are free range and by far the...

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Donagh’s Gambas al pil pil recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood | 8 comments

Donagh’s Gambas al pil pil recipe

Donagh (pronounced Dunna) is Danny’s youngest brother. He is a superb cook. When we meet the Dublin flight at Stansted he is Talking Food. The journey to the cottage is spiced with intriguing recipes and discoveries. Sitting in the back of the car, I begin to get nervous as I always seem to cook for Donagh’s first night. Generally, it’s a disaster. The next day we shop, he doesn’t buy the most expensive ingredients as we venture through the entire local tranche from Netto to Waitrose, with a dally at Tesco in between....

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Jocelyn’s Baked Garlic recipe

Posted in Vegetables and Sides | 7 comments

Jocelyn’s Baked Garlic recipe

Our friends Jocelyn and Miles have a house in France. They worked there for years and have kept it on as a retreat. Like the French, they love to eat out and one of their favourite local restaurants is run by a gloomy individual called Monsieur Misère. I was intrigued to meet this fellow who bobbed and smiled as we crossed his restaurant threshold. When he realised that our French wasn’t quite as fluent as our friends’, we were relegated to fourth division and tolerated with that polite distance, usually reserved for unruly...

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