The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Nduja (Italian spreadable salami from Spilinga) is available at Borough Market

Posted in Discoveries, Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 7 comments

Nduja (Italian spreadable salami from Spilinga) is available at Borough Market

I had never heard of spreadable salami until I visited Borough Market in London last weekend. This is an Italian speciality originating from Spilinga, a village in the Calabria region in the toe of Italy. Nduja is a bit of a firecracker. I was given the teeniest sample on the end of a hefty kitchen knife. It was tasty and after a few seconds there was a small explosion of fiery chilli heat. My mind raced, this could be used in sandwiches, pasta sauces, on pizzas and under toasted cheese. I love salami and I love chilli. I was in heaven. We...

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Broccoli stalks in a stir fry

Posted in Vegetarian | 0 comments

Broccoli stalks in a stir fry

The Penultimate Paramour used to save the tree trunk from a head of broccoli to use in a stir fry. So did my mum. Perhaps it was a matter of too long in the wok but even chopped, the tree trunks were soft and watery with a flavour reminiscent of the compost heap. We made a stir fry tonight. Back late from Essex, I was feeling buggy and it was my turn to cook. I had planned to make stroganoff but couldn’t face the palaver. In a moment of desperation, I grabbed Nigel Slater’s The 30 Minute Cook and thumbed through the pages. This is...

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Tesco pulls it off

Posted in Reviews | 2 comments

Tesco pulls it off

I was resigned to the usual two-supermarket shop this weekend; Tesco and Waitrose. Doing both robs 30 minutes from my planned gardening spot. With one day off, I wanted to dig over the vegetable patch and plant our garlic and shallots. I visited Tesco first and was amazed to find everything that I needed. A few weeks ago I spotted that they have a new range – “Tesco ingredients” (similar to the Waitrose range “Cooks ingredients”) but I hadn’t checked it out until yesterday. Here was a chunky Le Parfait jar...

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David’s pheasant breasts sautéd in butter and marsala recipe

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 2 comments

David’s pheasant breasts sautéd in butter and marsala recipe

You will need a steak hammer for this recipe or a sturdy wooden rolling pin. This is the story of how I found mine. Many years ago, at the end of my first tumultuous love affair, my mother gave me a two week holiday on the island of Hero (one stop on from Gomera) in the Canary Islands. She booked me into a hotel that was starred in The Good Hotel Guide. She had loathed my boyfriend and probably hoped that I’d meet a new Adonis. I was happy to go along with the plan and arrived safely on the island in a small propeller plane. The spacious...

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