The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Recipe for rare fillet steaks with a green peppercorn and cream sauce

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal, Sauces Gravy Dressings | 14 comments

Recipe for rare fillet steaks with a green peppercorn and cream sauce

I spotted a fillet of beef joint on the Tesco butcher’s counter. It had a good dark colour and I reckoned that it would taste great. As a payday treat I asked for two small fillet steaks about 2cm/0.8 inches deep. I rushed home with the bounty – Danny would cook the steaks and I’d make the green peppercorn and cream sauce. Green peppercorns are sold ‘wet’ in small jars of brine. They are crunchy and reasonably hot but don’t have the kick of dried black peppercorns. I love them. One of the easiest sauces to make is a...

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Quick and easy smoked salmon spaghetti recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 8 comments

Quick and easy smoked salmon spaghetti recipe

Sometimes I get bored with our old favourites when it comes to rustling up the evening meal. Although the freezer is full of my own ‘ready meals’ nothing appeals. I pick through the shelves and even consider a takeaway. Last night I found a pack of Atlantic line caught smoked salmon – 100g for £3.99 happily discounted to £2.50 on the CFC. Danny refuses to eat farmed salmon so I only buy the good stuff on offer and stash it away for chic canapés or scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for a very special breakfast. Last night was a...

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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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Calves liver with a delicate Puy lentil sauce recipe

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal | 2 comments

Calves liver with a delicate Puy lentil sauce recipe

  Years ago Danny and I had an unforgettable meal in a Soho restaurant. As far as I remember we were the only customers that evening but the restaurant was designed so that we sat in our own little section – the atmosphere was intimate and the food delicious. The star dish of the evening was calves liver with a sauce of puy lentils. The combination was astonishingly good. Melt in the mouth liver combined with the texture of the lentils was a perfect partnership. I’ve tried to recreate the lentil sauce many times since that memorable meal...

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Fragrant lemon butter poussin, baked with saffron and turmeric recipe

Posted in Chicken | 9 comments

Fragrant lemon butter poussin, baked with saffron and turmeric recipe

A few weeks ago I noticed a new ceramic pepper shaker standing in my mother’s kitchen table. The powder around the holes wasn’t pepper coloured. Intrigued I tapped a little onto the back of my hand, it smelt spicy and tasted strange. “It’s turmeric. It’s supposed to have all sort of health giving properties. I sprinkle it on my food if I remember.” My mum wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of buying a new pepper shaker and filling it with turmeric on a whim. So I cruised I few internet sites and...

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Indulgent treats: Prawns, spinach and crème fraîche linguine

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 9 comments

Indulgent treats: Prawns, spinach and crème fraîche linguine

A couple of years ago we became addicted to Tessa Kiros’ recipe for linguine with prawns and asparagus. Delicious and almost worth crawling the five miles to Newmarket to buy the ingredients. Tonight we decided to eat Clare’s scrumptious quick spinach and prawn gnocchi recipe and then I spotted that we had some linguine in the larder. “Let’s try Clare’s recipe but use the linguine rather than buy gnocchi.” Linguine is the perfect pasta for soaking up a sauce. Danny has a horror of what he describes as...

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Boxing day lunch: smoked ham with a fresh parsley sauce recipe

Posted in Sauces Gravy Dressings, Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 5 comments

Boxing day lunch: smoked ham with a fresh parsley sauce recipe

We always buy a ham at Christmas to keep the goose company in the fridge and provide us with endless meals. Starting with ham sandwiches on Christmas day and hot ham with a fresh parsley sauce on Boxing Day. The latter is eaten on trays as we indulge in an afternoon of horse racing on the telly. Danny and my mum sit watching the racing whilst I put on my pinny and provide the maid service end of things. Homemade parsley sauce is a cinch to make. A basic Béchamel with parsley lemon and quite a bit of freshly ground white pepper makes a good...

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Pasta with a creamy wild fennel and ham sauce recipe

Posted in Rice and Pasta | 14 comments

Pasta with a creamy wild fennel and ham sauce recipe

About ten years ago I invited Danny to stay for the weekend. This was the first time he met my dog, Fly. A lot more nerve wracking than being invited to meet my mother. I knew that he’d like the cottage but I wanted him to have a really great weekend so I invited a handful of good friends to supper on the Friday night. I planned to take a day off to have everything ship shape but unfortunately found myself working 70 miles away in London on a job that had to meet a tight deadline. I drove back to the cottage with an hour to spare before...

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